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, 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, has been well-received by both those new to our history as well as long-time residents.
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 graves.
The blue circle on the image at left indicates the area of the older, mostly non-Catholic graves.
As always, we welcome additional information on this topic as well as your contribution of an article regarding the County's history.
Search for Identity of 9 Civil War Soldiers
In an effort to honor Civil War veterans buried in Montgomery County, Historical Society (MCHS) volunteers attempted to identify the "Nine (9) Unknown U. S. Soldiers" that are recognized on a stone in the Wellsville City Cemetery. An extraordinary amount of time was expended in this research, resulting in a well-documented 18-page article
that reads a bit like a dectective novel. Records are limited, sources are contradictory and the lack of distinction between a gravestone and a cenotaph confuses the identification of actual burial locations.
The article introduces multiple facts and sources, concluding with a theory that these soldiers were killed at the Centralia Massacre and Battle on 27 September 1864 and their bodies were transported on the North Missouri Railroad for burial in Montgomery County. Given the atrocities commited by the guerillas, the remains of most of the 148 men slain were never individually identified. Many were from the Missouri counties of Adair, Shelby and Marion.
The slain men of the 39th Missouri Infantry have their names inscribed on monuments at Jefferson City and Centralia honoring their sacrifices. The names of ten of the soldiers on the train killed by Anderson's men have their names individually inscribed at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. No honor has been done to the other twelve soldiers on the train killed at Centralia. The name of one is not even known. The three civilians are forgotten. The nine soldiers buried at Wellsville remain unknown. MCHS welcomes any additional information readers may have regarding this topic.
How much butter did your ancestor churn?
Federal Census - Agricultural Schedules were taken from 1850 through 1930. These schedules listed the names of the heads of households for farms valued at $100 or greater along with the types, amount, and value of crops, livestock and land. The qualifying criteria were changed in 1920 to include just farms with 3 or more acres or less than 3 acres that produced at least $250 worth of farm products.
As an example, in 1850, Mr. Adams managed a 200 acre farm worth $900 with $120 worth of farming implements that produced 300 pounds of butter (in addition to other crops). They milked 9 cows and slaughtered $200 worth of animals. The $70 worth of beeswax and honey reported was above average for the area.
The 1850-1880 Agricultural Schedules available online. The original records are available at the Missouri Historical Society Library. The below clip show some of the data collected in 1850 by Cole Diggs, the assistant to the Marshal of the District of Missouri. He stresses with underlines that this information is "to the the best of my knowledge and beleif," as sworn before Thomas McIntosh, J.P.
MCHS Board Meeting
The MCHS Board meets monthly on the fourth Saturday at the Senior Center while under COVID restrictions.