Montgomery County Historical Society Montgomery County Historical Society
Dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the rich local history of the Montgomery County, Missouri area.

Famous County Residents

Admittedly, our County is not very well known, but we do have some past residents worth “crowing about.” See the section on Families, Bios, Records and learn about:
  • One of Missouri’s first State Supreme Court judges.
  • Children’s book author and illustrator.
  • Missouri pioneer who was a medical practitioner, writer and geologist.
  • Director of Legislative Service for the Missouri Farm Bureau.
  • Prohibition Party presidential candidate and college professor.
As always, we welcome any historical documents, etc. that you may wish to share!
 
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.                       Return to Top of Page
 

Historical Marker "Re" Erected at Courthouse

A county historical market was erected in Montgomery City (on Route 19, just south of Allen St. intersection) in 1957 by the State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission. Judge Roy Richter and the State Historical Society led recent efforts to have it refurbished and placed in a more prominent place. The Montgomery County Historical Society recruited volunteers and managed the project to completion. The Montgomery County Commission paid the cost of placing the sign on the Courthouse lawn. Read the text here.
 
Several individuals and groups contributed materials and labor to the effort. Kenny Cobb sandblasted. Mike Lichtenberg and the guys at Mike's Autocrafts completed the base coat. MK John lent his talents for the final decorative painting. The site was prepared by Jeff Sachs Concrete and the County road crew assisted with grading. Howard Hollensteiner crafted the metal holding frame. On 16 June, 2020, Gene Eldringhoff was the final contractor and he put the sign in place with the aid of MCHS board members Doug Dowling and Dave Teeter.
 
At a future date there will be a commemorative ceremony to celebrate all the parties involved with this dedication to local history. See photos here.

Missouri Constitutional Convention

200 years ago this July, after the United States Congress had enacted a law March 6, 1820, enabling the citizens of the Territory of Missouri to adopt a constitution and establish a state government so as to be admitted as a state in the union, 41 delegates to a constitutional convention, the number set by Congress, apportioned among the 15 counties of the territory by congress, were elected in May, to convene in June, 1820.
 
Mansion House Hotel
Montgomery County's two delegates met with the other 39 in the convention at The Mansion House Hotel in St. Louis (on Vine St., now St. Charles St.) on June 12 and in 38 days produced the first constitution of the State of Missouri, a hand written document of 37 pages. The speed with which this document was produced can be explained, at least in part, by the fact the convention met every day except the five Sundays and the fourth of July. In addition, a committee system was utilized where a separate group of delegates were each. assigned specific articles or topics so that the document was actually seen as a whole only at the end. No single individual can be claimed to be the author. Each of the 41 delegates signed the document and it became Missouri's first constitution without vote or other affirmation of the people.
 
Among the provisions:
  • New counties could not be less than 20 square, nor more than 400, square miles in area.
  • Each county had one member in the State House of Representatives, but the total membership of the House could never be over one hundred.
  • Senators in the General Assembly were allocated by population in not less than 14, nor more than 30, senatorial districts.
  • Religious leaders, clergymen and teachers of religion were ineligible to hold public office.
  • Electors could only be free, white, males, 21 years of age, a resident of the State for one year and of the county or district for three months.
  • The governor and lieutenant governor were elected for four-year terms and could not succeed themselves.
  • The state treasurer was appointed by joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly. A secretary of state and attorney general were appointed by the governor.
  • The only elective county officers provided for were a sheriff and a coroner, both to serve two-year terms, but only four years out of every eight years.
  • The state supreme court of three judges, a state chancellor having jurisdiction over equity cases, probate and minors, and circuit judges in the counties were provided for. All judges were to be appointed by the governor and serve on good behavior.
  • As many justices of the peace as were found to be necessary could be appointed by the governor.
Education (supervised by the General Assembly), internal improvements, banks, slavery and a state militia were dealt with. Included was a provision that slaves could not be freed without the owners' consent with the market value of the slave to be paid the owner.
 
There was a Declaration of Rights including provisions dealing with the people as the sovereign power, assembly, free speech and press, religion, trial by jury and personal rights in court.
 
Missouri's first constitution definitely provided, in several articles, that it was a state in which owning slaves was legal. But it also contained a clause (Article Ill, Section 26), now uncertain in origin and purpose, providing that the General Assembly was required to pass legislation "to prevent free negroes and mulattoes from coming to - - - (or) settling in this State". Because of this constitutional provision Missouri's struggle for statehood would continue.
 
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.                       Return to Top of Page
 

Online References

Older researchers (like your webmaster) remember sticking our heads into a microfilm box and serially scanning through reference material for hours, days and weeks for a mere tidbit of information. Today, many resources are available online with search capabilities that allow task completion in seconds. Many are even free!  See Online References for some sources we have found to be of value; including digitized books, maps and documents. Links to helpful websites are listed.
 
If you are aware of other useful sites, please send an email to webmaster@mchsmo.org and they will be added to the list. Thank you for taking the time to help your fellow researchers!                                                                            

August 3
Columbus Sets Sail
In 1492, Christopher Columbus begins his first voyage with three ships, Santa María, Pinta and Niña from Palos de la Frontera, Spain for the "Indies" ...

August 4
Genealogy Society Welcomes Visitors
The library and museum buildings are open to the public on Tuesday mornings until Noon, March thru November, weather permitting. Genealogy Society members are available ...

August 8
The Dollar Accepted
In 1786, Congress unanimously chooses the dollar as the monetary unit for the United States of America

August 10
Smithsonian Inst. Established
In 1846, Congress passes Act establishing the Smithsonian Institution, now world's largest museum and research complex

August 11
Genealogy Society Welcomes Visitors
The library and museum buildings are open to the public on Tuesday mornings until Noon, March thru November, weather permitting. Genealogy Society members are available ...