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. 

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Rhineland Scrapbook, 1902-1927

Rhineland Record detailsThanks to Clara Theissen Duffy (1864-1942) and the Muehl family, MCHS has a copy of The Rhineland Scrapbook, a collection of newspaper clippings and transcribed articles from The Rhineland Record, 1902-1927. As stated by the editor in 1991, it "... provides anecdotal highlights ... with the vividness of early newspaper writing, it reveals memorable facets of Rhineland's past ..."  Click here for scans of the book, a Table of Contents is on page 3. If readers are aware of the ealier booklets mentioned in the Introduction, we at MCHS would appreciate the opportunity to review and scan them. 
 
The Rhineland Record was first published by Wm. T. Dowling on 28 February 1902 after he purchased it's predecessor, The Rhineland Sunbeam. Click here for a link to the Montgomery County newspapers that have been microfilmed by the State Historical Society.  If you have old copies, please share with the SHS and help preserve history. Newspapers.com also has copies of the publication.
 
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Baker Store & JOP Records

Ben Baker Danville MOThe Webmaster recently discovered log books from the Baker Store and Justice of the Peace (JOP) proceedings. Some pages have been scanned and can be found here.  Several pages are missing, and the index is incomplete. There are entries for the Danville store sales in 1835-36-37 (a glass of rum or gin was 13¢) and it then jumps to Matilda Baker's entries in the 1870's when eggs were purchased for 12.5¢/dozen and feathers were 65¢/pound.
 
Another book is court docket for JOP B.S. Baker (approx 1894-1910. incomplete) related to local complaints, including disturbing the peace, gambling, debt collection, etc. In 1897, assaulting one's wife resulted in a penalty of $8.80 paid to the school fund. A witness was paid 90 cents for testimony in a disburbing the peace hearing/trial(?) in 1901.
 
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Resources for Property History

We received an email from an educator who teaches an online class about historic research and home preservation. Feedback and sharing are wonderful things!  Thanks to a student named Amelia, we are sharing a link to ez Landlord Forms which includes details helpful to researching properties. This site offers valuable suggestions PLUS many more links to ever more specific references.
 
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Charles Leiper Grigg, Father of Soda Empire

Click here for the full article.  Charles Leiper Grigg was born in 1868, in Prices Branch, Missouri, in a small log storeroom. His merchandising sense got its start in that hamlet where he started a general store. In looking over catalogues sent out by St. Louis wholesalers to the rural merchants, he wondered how these big city boys stayed in business. He wrote to one such company pointing out its mistakes and how he could do better. He was invited to come to St. Louis and do just that. At the age of 22, he left Montgomery County behind and worked for several dry goods firms, advertising agencies, and finally a soda bottling company. Old 7up soda bottles
 
Grigg partnered with financier Edmund G. Ridgway and lawyer Frank Gladney to form the Howdy Company. Charles spent two years testing formulas and winning formulation consisted of seven ingredients--carbonated water, sugar, essence of lemon, essence of lime, citric acid, sodium citrate and lithium citrate. Lithium citrate had been used in patent medicines to improve mood. He named his new product Bio-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda. Later it was changed to 7Up Lithiated Lemon Soda and finally shortened to 7Up.
 
The inventor died at age 71 due to complications from diabetes and was buried in St. Louis County. He left behind his wife Lucy and children Elizabeth and Hamblett Charles who became president of the old Howdy Company which had changed its name to the 7Up Company. 
 
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Thomas Jefferson Jackson See, Scientist

Few historical figures of early 20th century science have inspired such rancor as did Thomas Jefferson Jackson See. An astronomer perceived to have great potential, it is generally agreed that he had no real accomplishments and is remembered for a career dogged by plagiarism, grand egotistical claims, and vicious attacks on fellow scientists.
 
70 Ophiuchi. A double star containing two yellow-orange stars.
Thomas was born on February 19, 1866 in Montgomery County, Missouri, the sixth child of Noah See and Mary Ann Sailor See. He graduated from the State University of Missouri in Columbia and received a PhD in mathematics in 1892 from the University of Berlin. Employment in observatories in Chicago, Flagstaff, Washington, D.C. and California all ended unpleasantly. Continuing with studies of earthquakes, solar system evolution and physics, See’s publications were seriously questioned by colleagues.
 
Other than the controversy he generated during his heyday; little is remembered of See’s work today. However, he played a large part in getting the average man on the street to take an interest in science and his devoted public following hailed him as a hero. Thomas Jefferson Jackson See died on July 4, 1962 at the age of 96. Click here for the full article
 

Church Records for Rhineland-area Ancestors

When civil vital records are not available, another important resource is church records. My second great-grandparents were Catholic German immigrants so I started with the local Catholic Church in the Rhineland area, searching for baptism and marriage records from the late 1840’s and early 1850’s.
 
The origins of the Church of the Risen Savior’s predecessor parishes date to 1847, with a Jesuit missionary, Father Anthony Eysvogels. Circuit riding Jesuits often provided the sacraments to early settlers in this region. St. Martin’s was not assigned a permanent pastor until 1867.
 
I found baptismal records in the St. Martin’s abstracts, but I could not find all the records for my ancestors. The “History of the Archdiocese of St. Louis” reported that the mother church for the Rhineland area was St. Francis Borgia in Washington, about 40 miles down the Missouri River. Indeed, I found my ancestors’ marriages and baptisms of several of their children in the St. Francis Borgia records.
 
Click here to read the full article, which is well-documented with helpful references. Learn more about early church history. Thank you, Susan S., for sharing your research and “how-to” information which will greatly assist others researching in this area.
 
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January 20
Prohibition begins in 1920
Prohibition takes effect stopping the sale and consumption of alcohol when the 18th Amendment went into effect

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

February 5
100 years ago
Readers Digest first published

February 14
Valentine's Day
Click here for the history of St. Valentine.

February 22
President's Day
Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, the holiday became popularly known as Presidents' Day after it was moved as part of 1971's Uniform Monday Holiday ...