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. 


Early County Property Tax Records

MCHS acquired .jpgs of early County tax records from the State Archives, including:1819 Tax List Montgomery Cty J Pitman Sheriff
  • Vol. 25: 1819-1827 tax lists. 
  • Vol. 26: 1828-1835, 1837, 1839-1841 tax lists. 
  • Vol. 32: 1836 Tax Lists by Counties, includes Montgomery 2 pages
The lists were certified by Jacob L. Sharp, Clerk of the County Court for all years; in Pickney (1822-23), in Lewiston (1824-1834) and in Danville (1835-1841).
Click here for an index that lists pages (.jpgs) available. The organization of the tax lists vary by year, remember the following when traversing:
  • Alphabetization is NOT 100% accurate
  • Some years separate property (real or personal) from land
  • 1819-1820 includes a section on confirmed/unconfirmed land
  • 1821 and thereafter separate “non residents” (on the final pages for the year)
  • 1822 separates townships Charette, Loutre and Elkhorn
  • 1825-1826 separate State and County tax lists
  • Click here for more details about column headings by year, etc.
The Lists of Real Property provide insight for historians and genealogists, from simply documenting a family’s existence in the County to estimating their wealth. Click here for an inflation calculator to compare the value of a dollar. Recall that “Original Claimant” details can be found in General Land Office Records at the Bureau of Land Management. Illustrations of locations by Section/ Township/ Range can be found in various atlases; the 1878 Historical Atlas is found here.   Pages are different sizes and are bound into volumes, so taking photos was challenging. We thank the State Archivists for their efforts.
On 21 February 1825, the General Assembly enacted a statute (61 sections, 22 pages) that initiated the modern local assessment, board of equaliation, collection and distribution of real and personal taxes. Section 20 thereof empowers county courts to levy taxes on all property subject to state tax for county expense, but the amount is limited to 50% of state tax in any one year. The tax levy ranged from 50% (1828-1830) to 200% (1837).
The revenue act by the General Assemby of March, 1836, provided that the local tax could not exceed the state levy. This was expressly carried forward in the 1855 and 1866 Revised Statutes. The 1875 Constitution, Article 10, Sec. 11b put dollar limits on local taxes per $100 valuation:
  • Municipalities         $1.00               
  • Large counties        $0.35
  • Small Counties        $0.50            
If interested in more recent tax records, the MCHS Library (in Montgomery City) house County Real Estate Books, 1910-1933, inclusie and persona tax books, 1908-1947 and 1973-1983, all inclusive.            
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.                       Return to Top of Page   

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   

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

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 ...

June 26
MCHS Board Meeting
The MCHS Board meets monthly on the fourth Saturday at the Senior Center while under COVID restrictions.

July 4
Happy July 4th!
In 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson. This has been a federal holiday since 1941.

July 24
MCHS Board Meeting
The MCHS Board meets monthly on the fourth Saturday at the Senior Center while under COVID restrictions.