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


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October 17, 2021 By: Web Master
Church Records 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 assist others researching in this area.
October 17, 2021 By: Web Master
Peters, Holschlag, Brinker, Engelbrecht
If these are your families, or if you just enjoy an informative article about the Germans in southern Montgomery article, follow these links to articles previously published in the Missouri State Genealogical Association Journals
We are grateful to the author, Norman R. Peters, for sharing his family history and his skill of turning research into a great story. Follow the links to learn how an expert followed the clues to bring his ancestors to life.  Mr. Peters also donated a copy of Rhineland area obituaries which were compiled by Floyd Van Booven (beginning 1925).  Thank you for sharing!
October 3, 2021 By: Web Master
Missouri History Scavenger Hunt

Organized by the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society in honor of Missouri's Bicentenial and featuring Callaway, Audrain, Boone, Cole, Montgomery and Osage Counties. Hit the road (October 1 thru November 30, 2021) and learn about our heritage! The 2021 Scavenger Hunt will take you to 21 historic sites in central Missouri. Start your journey by downloading the Scavenger Hunt packet with all 21 locations, directions, and site descriptions. Then travel mid-Missouri, visit the historic sites and capture a photo. 

Three easy ways to be entered into the prize drawing on Dec. 7 - Email, Facebook or In Person. Photos can be submitted as you go along, weekly or all at once. Please submit selfies/photos, even if you don’t visit all the sites — we want to see where people visit!

Those who visit ALL 21 sites and have photos authenticated by KCHS will have their names entered into a drawing on December 7, 2021, for one of three prizes.

October 3, 2021 By: Web Master
Bicentennial Century and Founding Farms
The MU Extension for the College of Agriculture published a booklet to acknowledge the generations of farm families who have helped build Missouri over the past two centuries. A special category of 30 Founding Farms have been in the same family for over 200 years. In Montgomery County, this group includes:
  • The Snethen-Cundiff Farm, original owner William Snethen
  • Graham Cave Farms, original owner Robert Graham
The annual Century Farm program grew out of Missouri 1976 Centennial Farm project. Since its inception, more than 8,000 Missouri farms have received the Century Farm designation. There were 231 applicants in 2021, the 200th anniversary of Missouri statehood.
From those first farm settlements to today’s enterprising operations that continue our state’s proud agricultural and ranching traditions, your families have been essential to America’s growth. Most important, your care of the land remains the bedrock of the communities you have helped create, sustain and shape.
September 11, 2021 By: Web Master
Resources for Bocholt Germany Emigrants
Here are some recently discovered resources for those researching German families who migrated from the Bocholt area. These are the kinds of finds that make a genealogist salivate!  What can you share?
  • This link to the Nordrhein Westfalen Archives offers a variety of resources. One researcher found some great Dingden maps of 1828 and 1839 that showed Koermann resident locations. If a photo icon appears after you search a topic/word the resource is available for free.
  • Another researcher shared Floyd Van Booven’s 94 page book of Rhineland obits (beginning 1925 and ending about 1980). Thank you NP!
  • Early (prior to Starkenburg records) marriages and baptism of the original German settlers were found in the St. Francis Borgia, Washington, Franklin, Missouri records on the LDS Family Search site. Thank you SS!
  • German 1749-1750 population registers, the “status Animarum” created by the Catholic Church for tax purposes (I think) can be found here. You will search by town/parish. Thank you GK!
  • Bocholt civil status records1654 to the 20th century. Head and personal appraisal registers, fire cadastre, residents' registers and house appraisals from the city of Bocholt, from municipalities of the Bocholt office and today's Bocholt districts of the former Liedern-Werth office help with genealogical, prosopographical, architectural and / or economic-historical research.  Than you SS!
  • The Hermanner Volksblatt Newspaper (1875-1928) is available on and via Ancestry's All Access membership.
As always, MCHS asks that you share your finds and documented research to help us with the mission of preserving and perpetuating the rich local history of the Montgomery County. What can you share?
August 15, 2021 By: Web Master
Ground Penetrate Radar-St.Joseph Cemeter
A previous article History of Hunt-St. Joseph Cemetery discussed “folklore” regarding unmarked graves which has been confirmed by three sources. Click here for full article with illustrations.
  • The existence of unmarked graves is supported by the memories of Jerome Van Booven and his son Gary Van Booven whose father/grandfather August (1902-1979) dug many graves here.  August shared stories from his father Ludwig (1873-1961) about an unfinished log church’s foundation and mass grave of cholera victims.
  • The oral tradition is further supported by a plat map that Gary copied in the 1960’s at the request of the cemetery committee. He transcribed the map from a very old (but undated) parchment copy onto drafting mylar.  
  • A Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) scan of the area shows the perimeters of the church and grave. GPR, the affordable version (not the TV version), is not an exact science that prints a distinct picture. It indicated soil disturbance or simply “something different” below the surface.
There is additional “folklore” regarding the burial of victims of a steamboat wreck. The Van Booven plat map does not show such, but the GPR identified another area of disturbed ground. Please contribute any facts that could help substantiate a steamboat wreck / burial. Of course, this area could also be unmarked individual graves of others who passed away prior to the existence of St. Martin’s Cemetery. Can anyone contribute helpful information? 
MCHS is most appreciate to the Van Boovens for sharing their knowledge and documentation.  Thank you, Jerome and Gary!
August 1, 2021 By: Web Master
Civil War Bushwackers in Montgomery Cnty
The population in the County in 1860 included 8,061 white persons with 1,647 slaves in their midst (about 17%), indicating that many had Confederate sympathies. The large German population in the southern part of the County was pro-Union. It was somewhat of a "border county" in a border state. State politics and the difficulties inherent in being a border state caused martial law to be established in Missouri in August 1861, giving the power to administer justice to the Union military. Secessionists fought back with guerrilla tactics. 
The first bushwacker murders were in July, 1861, and the Cobb brothers terrorized the County throughout the war.  Read this article to learn about the murders of John McClatchey, Thomas Page, Andrew Rincheval and Henry Bresser. It includes an extensive list of references for the curious reader.
The transcript of the trial for the murder of McClatchey is found here. An article about the bushwacker attack on the railroad near Centralia is found here.
Homes and farms were burned and possessions regularly stolen. Women were violated. Innocent citizens were shot in cold blood. Both sides commited vicious acts, in a non-ending circle of vengeance. A diary by James Rigg lists atrocities by the militia equal to that of the bushwackers.
July 31, 2021 By: Web Master
1862 Trial Transcript -McClatchey Murder
Bluffton resident John McClatchey was brutally murdered by bushwackers in 1861.  A transcription of the trial (in Mexico, Missouri at the Provost Marshall’s Office) of Henry Hill, James M. Davidson, and Charles S. Robinson is provided here, courtesy of a McClatchey descendant.  You can read and feel the horrors and tensions of the residents, in the words of those testifying in May, 1862, about life in a county where Union and Confederate sympathizers were neighbors.  Testimonies are provided by Wright, Glover, Decker, Davison, Robinson, Page, Hill, Poindexter, Price, Melius, and Steer (Stiers?). All three men were found guilty and sentenced to confinement in a military prison during the war. Henry Hill died in Gratiot Street Prison in St. Louis, Missouri. 
There is no record of the demise of John McClatchey's widow Susan Abernathy, who testified at the trail, and their daughters died in Pennsylvania prior to 1881. The McClatchey land was eventually inherited by John's brother Samuel who relocated to Missouri from Pennsylvania.  Born in 1837, he died in 1924 and is buried in Best Bottom Cemetery.
Click here for addittional artices about Montgomery County in the Civil War, including Bushwackers in Montgomery County.
June 12, 2021 By: Web Master
Early County 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
  • 1819 list of names transcribed for MoSGA, click here
  • 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.  
June 12, 2021 By: Web Master
Truddy Riddle, Gen Society President
MCHS expresses our condolences to Trudy Riddle’s family and our gratitude for her longtime work with the Genealogical Society. She freely shared her research expertise and time, responding to countless public inquiries for family history information over the years. Trudy, aged 72, passed away on January 25, 2021.
Trudy was born to George and Doris Mae (Phillippe) Eldon in Fulton, MO. She had one son. A graduate of the University of Missouri/Columbia, she taught for 33 years for the Montgomery County R-2 school district, retiring in 2003. She substitute taught for another 17 years, completing 50 years of educational service. After retirement, Trudy worked at the Montgomery City Library. She enjoyed traveling and not only visited 48 states but also Mexico, Canada and Europe.
A friendly face, both as an educator and as a volunteer with a “can do” attitude, is how Trudy is remembered. Even though she did not grow up in Montgomery County, she spent most of her life here and used her knowledge of family connections to help everyone she could. She was also a tireless volunteer at the local State Retired Teacher group and GFWC Women’s Club. She spent many hours helping in whatever way she could to benefit the local community. Her dedication and helpfulness will truly be missed by many now and many years in the future.
(Information used in this article was partially gathered from her obituary in the Montgomery Standard)