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, we hope you will 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 created by volunteers, has been well-received by both those new to our history as well as long-time residents. 

 

Montgomery County in the Civil War

According to an article in the Montgomery County Leader on 2 Feb 1949:
 
Nothing ever upset the people of Montgomery County as did the Civil War. Over night friends and neighbors found themselves enemies, families even split over the question of secession. Montgomery County was predominately a Unionist settlement, although there were many outright secessionists.
 
The various military units that were established are confusing for the genealogist. A MCHS volunteer wrote a four-page summary of the different types of service, explaining the nuances of each and how they were relevant in Montgomery County: Missouri Home Guard, Missouri Militia, Missouri State Militia, Enrolled Missouri Militia, Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia, and Provisional Enrolled Militia. Each of these groups had a different purpose, timeframe and organizational structure.
 
  • 1890 Veterans Schedule.
  • Assessment Lists, 1863 & 1864
  • Clothing Roster, Kendrick EMM
  • Rebel Sympathizers from 1902 News Article
  • Union Provost Marshal Papers index 1861-1866
What can you share from your files?  MCHS welcomes contributions and will share relevant scanned materials on the website.
 
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.                       Return to Top of Page   
              

Census Mortality Schedules & Death Details

In 1850, 1860, 1870, & 1880 there were mortality schedules in the Federal census that listed those individuals who had died within the year ending on June 1 of the census year. They are transcribed and digitized for easy access by the State Archives.  A listing with links is found here.
The 1850 & 1860 schedules list the name; age; sex; color; slave or free; marital status; place of birth; month of death; cause of death; profession; and number of days ill.  The 1870 schedule adds columns for whether the individual’s parents are foreign born and deletes the number of days ill and the slave or free columns.  Finally, the 1880 schedule adds columns for residency, where the disease was contracted, and the attending physician’s name. Beginning in 1890, the mortality schedule was reduced to aggregate data for a few cities from each state.  Missouri cities in 1890 were Kansas City and St. Louis.  St. Joseph was added in 1900.
 
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.                       Return to Top of Page
 

Why did the Germans choose Loutre in the 1840's?

Obit of Gerhard Lensing found in  Hermann Volksblatt
Those familiar with the southern part of the County know that it is home to many persons with German ancestry. Indeed, most of the permanent settlers in Loutre Township were from the same area in northwest Germany, near the Dutch border. Why did they choose Montgomery County?  Could it have been our delightful weather?

Research suggests that the first German settler was Gerhard Lensing and he helped coordinate the arrival of others in the mid and late 1840’s. A political dissident in what became Germany, he emigrated illegally to the United States (first to Hermann). He settled on Loutre Island and “never felt such pride in myself as now that I am a free farmer on my own land.” He married Christina Jahns in 1839 and they had at least 11 children over 28 years, nine of whom lived to adulthood. His younger brother established a similar dynasty in Austin, Texas.

Gerhard actively invested in property, was postmaster, raised stud horses, became a naturalized citizen, survived a bushwhacker raid on his home, served with the Union Army, and was a successful farmer. Click on his name above for the complete biography.
 
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.                 Return to Top of Page
 

Hunt-St. Joseph Cemetery - History & Records

The cemetery on the hill behind St. Joseph's Catholic Church (renamed Church of the Risen Savior in 1979) in Rhineland, Montgomery, Missouri, (Twn46N, R5W, Sec 30, NE 1/4 of SW 1/4) has historically been referred to as Hunt-St. Joseph. As of July 2020, Find-A-Grave (FAG) shows 496 burials in "Saint Josephs Cemetery." The long-standing story is that the cemetery was begun with a donation of land to bury relatives who succumbed to the cholera epidemic (1849-1850). Yet, the earliest tombstone is for a death in 1865.  Neither does the cholera story make sense in relation to the cemetery’s namesake, Larkin William Hunt, a barber who lived from 1864-1941. There are no burials of persons named “Hunt.”
 
  - explains the original 1849 two acre donation by German immigrants,
  - reviews various records (land and other) to support the conclusion,
  - links to supporting references and
  - lists names of immigrants possibly buried in unmarked grave(s).
 
The blue circle on the image at left indicates the area of the older, mostly non-Catholic graves. The pink rectangle marks the likely location of the original church and a mass grave for cholera victims buried prior to 1850.
 
As always, we welcome additional information on this topic as well as your contribution of an article regarding the County's history.
 
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.                        Return to Top of Page
 

May 22
MCHS Board Meeting
The MCHS Board meets monthly on the fourth Saturday at the Senior Center while under COVID restrictions.

May 31
Memorial Day
Click here for history of this holiday honoring military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

June 5
World Environment Day
Time for Nature.  

June 14
Flag Day
Display the American flag and relfect upon the foundations of our country's freedoms.

June 20
Happy Father's Day
A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there but a guiding light whose love shows us the ...