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

Thank you, Elsie!

Elsie Cope Service AwardCharter Board Member, Elsie (Mrs. Walden) Cope retired from office in the summer of 2019, shortly after her 90th birthday celebration. She served as a director on the Historical Society Board from 1976 to 1995, when her husband became the Bear Creek Township representative. After his death in 2003 she returned to the Board as Vice-President, in which position she served for 16 years.

The Society formally recognized her long service at a meeting October 26. While in well-earned retirement from the active participation in Society government and activities, she remains a valuable source of information on the history of the area, and continues her long-time interest in the Society’s mission of discovering, preserving and disseminating the history of Montgomery County and its people.

War of 1812 or the Indian Wars

The least remembered American war, that with the English, 1812-1815, officially ended with culmination of the provisions of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. Practically none of the issues that brought about the conflict were dealt with by the treaty. The only well-known incidents are the burning of the White House by the British and Andrew Jackson's victory at New Orleans.
Locally the conflict was known as the Indian Wars. The English made treaties with various American Indian tribes and that promoted numerous Indian raids. This had the effect of spreading American concern over a wide area that was largely disconnected.
The most significant local action in the Indian Capt. Callaway MarkerWars was the battle near the confluence of Prairie Fork Creek and Loutre River in southwest Montgomery County. Sac and Fox Indians and part of a company of American Rangers led by Capt. James Callaway met there in early March, 1815. The result was the death of Capt. Callaway and five of his men, including three buried near the battle site. Callaway, a grandson of Daniel Boone, was born in Kentucky in 1783 and was also buried nearby. The bodies of two (Gilmore and Scott) of those killed were never found.
Other articles about how wars effected Montgomery County can be found here. (Documents -> Military). 
Several articles about “Pioneer Montgomery” may also be of interest.
An article about Callaway's death published in the Missouri Gazette.
History tidbits change monthly and archived under County History.                                 Return to Top of Page

The American Legion

It did not take long for excitement induced by foreign service to turn into monotony and, frankly, homesickness for the American boys still stationed in Europe in early 1919. They had been away from home a year or more and morale in the Allied Expeditionary Force was not high. A group of officers met at the American Club in Paris in March, 1919, and formed a mutual benefit, morale enhancing organization open to all service men of World War I. It was named The American Legion, and was chartered by the U.S. Congress later that year.
Nationally, the Legion became a lobbying group for American Legion Emblemveterans’ benefits; and was initially against a large standing army and compulsory military service in peacetime, but for universal military training not under the control of the army and navy. Locally, the Legion was more a patriotic social club featuring a remembrance of the great war, especially on November 11. There were four posts, as the local units were called:  Old Trails, No. 198 at Jonesburg; Joseph B. Koenig, No. 128, Rhineland; Hays-Hickerson, No. 116 at Wellsville; and Robert M. Graham, No. 277, Montgomery City. The latter three were named for men who were killed in action in France.
Between World War I and II, the American Legion spawned affiliated organizations:
  • An auxiliary of wives, mothers and other female relatives of veterans in 1919;
  • The Forty and Eight, the Legion's "fun-making" group named for the French railroad box cars that carried 40 men or 8 horses to the front, in 1920;
  • The Sons of the American Legion, open to males only, in 1932. Early memories of are of formal ceremonies at the local cemetery on November 11, including firing of rifles over the graves of deceased World War I veterans and the playing of taps at the graveside echoed by another bugler off a distance.
The American Legion reached its peak shortly after World War II with 3.3 million members. The 40 and 8 became an independent organization in 1959. There is still a national organization and a Department of Missouri of which a Montgomery Countian, Perry Compton, was commander in 1943. The Missouri Department still sponsors Boys State and participates in the national oratorical contest. Hays-Hickerson and Joseph B. Koenig Posts have disbanded, Old Trails is still listed on the Department roster and Robert M. Graham post regularly meets with the V.F.W. as part of a more generic veterans’ organization.
This section is updated monthly and articles archived under County History.                Return to Top of Page

Research Tidbit: DAR & SAR Applications

Most Missouri pre-statehood settlers were of English and Ulster Scots origin. They came from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Many were descendants of Revolutionary War patriots, that is, they were Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution. To be a member of DAR and/or SAR, one must apply with proof of descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence; including documentation for birth, marriage and death as well as Revolutionary War service. These applications DAR Logo(and other information) are found online and include a wealth of genealogical material.
If your ancestors were in America in the 1770’s and thus possibly related to a “patriot,” searching these sites is recommended. However, you really do need to read the “Overview & Help Section” as it is not an easy site to search. Pay attention to the section “Spelling of Ancestor Name” to increase your chance of success. Links to these sites and other free online references.  
Research tidbits are archived under "Researchers' Tools & Tricks" in Forums.                 Return to Top of Page
Share your own research tidbit - something you found helpful - in the Forum.

November 19
Genealogy Society Welcomes Visitors
The library and museum buildings are open to the public on Tuesday mornings until Noon thru the end of November. Genealogy Society members are available ...

November 23
German Letters Digitized
Do you have letters received by German ancestors? Bring them in for scanning and contribute to the “German Heritage in Letters” project of the German ...

November 26
Genealogy Society Welcomes Visitors
The library and museum buildings are open to the public on Tuesday mornings until Noon thru the end of November. Genealogy Society members are available ...

November 28
Happy Thanksgiving
tis the time to be thankful!

November 30
Organ & Handbells Concert
Pfeffer Pipe Organ and Hand bells Concert at Starkenburg - St. Martin Church Concerts will be at 1:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  For more ...