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
which can be searched by keyword.

Resources for Bocholt Germany Emigrants

Here are some recently discovered resources for those researching German families who migrated from the Bocholt area. These are the kinds of finds that make a genealogist salivate!  What can you share?German Flag
  • This link to the Nordrhein Westfalen Archives offers a variety of resources. One researcher found some great Dingden maps of 1828 and 1839 that showed Koermann resident locations. If a photo icon appears after you search a keyword, the resource is available for free.
  • Another researcher shared Floyd Van Booven’s 94 page book of Rhineland obits (beginning 1925 and ending about 1980). Thank you NP!
  • Early (prior to Starkenburg records) marriages and baptism of the original German settlers were found in the St. Francis Borgia, Washington, Franklin, Missouri records on the LDS Family Search site. Thank you SS!
  • German 1749-1750 population registers, the “status Animarum” created by the Catholic Church for tax purposes (I think) can be found here. You will search by town/parish. Thank you GK!
  • Bocholt civil status records1654 to the 20th century. Head and personal appraisal registers, fire cadastre, residents' registers and house appraisals from the city of Bocholt, from municipalities of the Bocholt office and today's Bocholt districts of the former Liedern-Werth office help with genealogical, prosopographical, architectural and / or economic-historical research. Thank you SS!
  • The Hermanner Volksblatt Newspaper (1875-1928) is available on and via Ancestry's All Access membership.
As always, MCHS asks that you share your finds and documented research to help us with the mission of preserving and perpetuating the rich local history of the Montgomery County. What can you share?
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.              Return to Top of Page   

Ground Penetrating Radar at St. Joseph Cemetery

A previous article History of Hunt-St. Joseph Cemetery discussed “folklore” regarding unmarked graves which has been confirmed by three sources. Click here for full article with illustrations.
  • The existence of unmarked graves is supported by the memories of Jerome Van Booven and his son Gary Van Booven whose father/grandfather August (1902-1979) dug many graves here.  August shared stories from his father Ludwig (1873-1961) about an unfinished log church’s foundation and mass grave of cholera victims.
  • The oral tradition is further supported by a plat map that Gary copied in the 1960’s at the request of the cemetery committee. He transcribed the map from a very old (but undated) parchment copy onto drafting mylar.  
  • A Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) scan of the area shows the perimeters of the church and grave. GPR, the affordable version (not the TV version), is not an exact science that prints a distinct picture. It indicated soil disturbance or simply “something different” below the surface.
There is additional “folklore” regarding the burial of victims of a steamboat wreck. The Van Booven plat map does not show such, but the GPR identified another area of disturbed ground. Please contribute any facts that could help substantiate a steamboat wreck / burial. Of course, this area could also be unmarked individual graves of others who passed away prior to the existence of St. Martin’s Cemetery. Can anyone contribute helpful information? 
MCHS is most appreciate to the Van Boovens for sharing their knowledge and documentation.  Thank you, Jerome and Gary!
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.           Return to Top of Page   

1862 Trial Transcript - Murder of John McClatchey

John's brother, Samuel McClatchey, 1837-1924Bluffton resident John McClatchey was brutally murdered by bushwackers in 1861.  A transcription of the trial (in Mexico, Missouri at the Provost Marshall’s Office) of Henry Hill, James M. Davidson and Charles S. Robinson is provided here, courtesy of a McClatchey descendant.  Read and feel the horrors and tensions of the residents, in the words of those testifying in 1862, about life in a county where Union and Confederate sympathizers were neighbors.  Testimonies are given by Wright, Glover, Decker, Davison, Robinson, Page, Hill, Poindexter, Price, Melius, and Steer (Stiers?). All three men were found guilty and sentenced to confinement in a military prison. Henry Hill died in Gratiot Street Prison in St. Louis. 
There is no record of the demise of John McClatchey's widow, Susan Abernathy, who testified at the trial. Their daughters died in Pennsylvania prior to 1881. The McClatchey land was eventually inherited by John's brother Samuel (photo at right) who relocated to Missouri in 1881 from Pennsylvania.  Born in 1837, he died in 1924 and is buried in Best Bottom Cemetery along with his wife and two of their five children. Much of the original 320 acres stayed in the McClatchey, Northern and Rose families (three generations) until the last of it was sold in 1945.
Click here for addittional artices about Montgomery County in the Civil War, including Bushwackers in Montgomery County.
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.         Return to Top of Page

Civil War Bushwackers in Montgomery County

The population in the County in 1860 included 8,061 white persons with 1,647 slaves in their midst (about 17%), indicating that many had Confederate sympathies. The large German population in the southern part of the County was pro-Union. It was somewhat of a "border county" in a border state. State politics and the difficulties inherent in being a border state caused martial law to be established in Missouri in August 1861, giving the power to administer justice to the Union military. Secessionists fought back with guerrilla tactics. Civil War Home Guard
The first bushwacker murders were in July, 1861, and the Cobb brothers terrorized the County throughout the war.  Read this article to learn about the murders of John McClatchey, Thomas Page, Andrew Rincheval and Henry Bresser. It includes an extensive list of references for the curious reader.
The transcript of the trial for the murder of McClatchey is found here. An article about the bushwacker attack on the railroad near Centralia is found here.
Homes and farms were burned and possessions regularly stolen. Women were violated. Innocent citizens were shot in cold blood. Both sides commited vicious acts, in a non-ending circle of vengeance. A diary by James Rigg lists atrocities by the militia equal to that of the bushwackers. 
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.          Return to Top of Page

September 25
MCHS Board Meeting
The MCHS Board meets monthly on the fourth Saturday at the Senior Center while under COVID restrictions.

October 12
Library & Museum Open
To confirm a visit, or make a request, contact

October 12
Genealogy Society Meeting
To confirm, contact

October 23
MCHS Board Meeting
The MCHS Board meets monthly on the fourth Saturday at the Senior Center while under COVID restrictions.

November 9
Library & Museum Open
To confirm a visit, or make a request, contact