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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Blog Entries: 1 to 11 of 11
July 2, 2022 By: Web Master
Search Missouri State Judicial Records
The Missouri's Judicial Records database can be searched by name. Historic court records Judicial logooffer tremendous insight into the daily lives of the past. Probate files offer insight into lives and relationships through wills, inventories, settlements, and even debts and credits. Guardianships reveal details about a minor’s education, what they wore and ate and even apprenticeship information.
In an era when reputation was the basis for social standing, the only legal recourse was litigation. The opportunities for research into social history, commerce, freedom, architecture and other topics are tremendous. Missouri’s circuit courts heard cases dealing with everything from fur trade to the Civil War, steamboats to railroads and agriculture to urbanization.
The Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Database provides an index and abstract of the criminal and civil court cases that were appealed to the territorial Superior Court and state Supreme Court of Missouri up to 1874, and a partial listing of cases to 1889. Digital images are available for some case files dating from 1821 through 1865.
For a better understanding of our States judicial system, click here.
April 7, 2022 By: Web Master
Where is Daniel Boone Buried?
Everyone agrees that frontier hero Daniel Boone died at his son’s home near Defiance, Missouri in 1820. Everyone agrees he was buried about fourteen miles west of Marthasville in the Bryan Family Cemetery near the grave of his beloved wife Rebecca. He was so particular about being buried here that he told friends that if he died away from home, he wanted them to bring his remains to this spot on a hill near Terque Creek. That, however, is where the story gets confusing. The people of Marthasville say he still lies in Missouri soil, his home for the last twenty years of his life. The people of Frankfort, Kentucky, will tell you that in 1845 the remains of Daniel and Rebecca were exhumed and reburied at the Frankfort Cemetery on a scenic spot overlooking the Kentucky River. So what is the true story–where is Daniel Boone buried? 
February 12, 2022 By: Web Master
Seats of County Government
There were several seats of governance in our County and the choice of location became quite contentious (and litigious) in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A timeline of the County Seat Removal Conflict is found here. Period newspaper articles describing fires, the loss records, Court rulings, etc. are found hereThank you to a volunteer for sharing them!
  • Pinckney (1818 – 1826) on the Missouri River in (now) Warren County proved to be an inconvenient location for residents in the upper portion of the County. The first courts (county and circuit) were held in a log cabin three miles east of Pinckney, in the dooryard of Benjamin Sharp, the first clerk. The first judges of the County Court were Isaac Clark, Moses Summers and John Wyatt.
  • Lewiston (1826 – 1834) on the Boone's Lick Road west of what is now High Hill, near the [then] geographic center of the County. The town no longer exists.
  • Danville (1834 – 1925), after the organization of Warren County. Fires in 1864 and 1901 destroyed many county records.
  • Montgomery City (1925 – present) residents built a new Courthouse in 1890 where sessions took place, despite it not being the official county seat until 1925. The current building was completed in 1954.
January 29, 2022 By: Web Master
Chautauqua Entertains in the Early 1900s
“Chautauqua” is an Iroquois word meaning “a bag tied in the middle” and describes a lake in southwest New York which was the setting for the Chautauqua Institution. It began in 1874 as a camp for Sunday school teachers. The scope broadened to include adult education of all kinds, as well as a correspondence course. It was a center for high-minded activities for intellectual and moral self-improvement and civic involvement.
The Chautauqua Movement grew (mostly in the Midwest) as the idea spread in rural areas where secondary education was limited. After 1900, the “circuit chautauqua” was popular. The quality of the offerings varied from Vassar-educated lecturers and Shakespeare to animal acts and vaudeville farce. Click here to read advertisements and articles from the Montgomery Tribute which detail what topics entertained our ancestors
Cars, radios, movies, and an increase in evangelical Christianity contributed to the near demise of the Chautauqua Movement in the mid-1930’s. The depression dealt a further blow. Learn about chautauqua assemblies currently in operation at The full version of this article can be found here. A big Thank You to a member for sharing these newspaper clippings!
January 28, 2022 By: Web Master
Conoco History in the County
Present day Conoco oil company was founded by the merger in 1929 between Continental Oil company and Marland Oil company. Paul Slavens ran a Conoco in Middletown in 1934 and the earliest newspaper ads found list a Thompson’s Conoco in Montgomery City in 1942. In the 1950's there were newspaper or yearbook ads for Sublette's Conoco, Bob River Conoco and Arthur Babout Conoco in Montgomery City. During this decade, there were Conoco stations in Wellsville, Montgomery City and Middletown. Click here for the full article with more general history and a photo of Sublette's Conoco at Highways 19 & 22 in Montgomery City, apparently from the mid-1950's. The photo at right is from the 1963 Wellsville High School Yearbook. Both show a very typical 1950's style Conoco station building and signage, along with gas pumps that were common at Conoco stations in that era.
In the 1960's there were ads for Floyd's Conoco in Middleton, Sublette's Conoco in Montgomery City and the Missouri Service Conoco & Firestone dealer in Wellsville.
Thanks to a Conoco retiree (33 years) for sharing his hobby of researching old Conoco gas stations and collecting photos. Anyone with photos or other Conoco history to share can email Thank you!
January 22, 2022 By: Web Master
Old Douglas - The Confederate Camel
He first served in the Battle of Iuka near the Tennessee-Mississippi border where he “stood bravely in the face of Union fire.” At the Battle of the Rail Roads, he again “faced the enemy bravely.” When the 43rd Mississippi Infantry Regiment was stationed in Vicksburg, replacements of all ages had come to fill the vacant ranks as casualties mounted. One of these was Old Douglas. By Natalie Maynor, Flickr General Grant changed his strategy from attack to siege in an effort to starve the city into surrender, all were trapped.
On the afternoon of June 27, 1863, Old Douglas stood silently, observing the battle from a hill safely behind the lines. At 3 pm, the frantic shout of a Confederate soldier, “They killed Old Douglas!” on a smoke-shrouded hill pierced through the crackling sound of rifle shots. Among the grave markers of the 5,000 Confederate soldiers buried at Soldier’s Rest in Vicksburg is a marble tablet that pays tribute.
The story goes back to the 1850s and Jeff Davis’ Texas Camel Experiment to see how useful camels would be in the American Southwest where horses were having trouble on long trips. Davis, then Secretary of War, believed camels’ tireless reserves, sure-footedness, lack of thirst, and the ability to carry heavy loads would enable movement of troops and supplies between California and the western frontier. Click here for the full article

December 29, 2021 By: Web Master
County Bi-centennial 2018
When Louisiana was admitted as the 18th state in 1812, the vast territory acquired from France in 1803 became the Missouri Territory with five counties and St. Louis as its capital. In 1813, Washington, and in 1816, Howard Counties were added to the five original counties: Cape Girardeau, New Madrid, St. Charles (including what is now Montgomery), St. Genevieve and St. Louis.
The 1818-1819 Territorial Legislature petitioned congress for authority to form a state government. Eight additional counties were organized: Cooper, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Montgomery, Pike and Wayne, in a configuration close to the shape of present day Missouri.
Montgomery County was officially established 14 December 1818.     
It included non-county Area 3, attached "for judicial, probate, administration and county purposes" (Mo. Terr. Laws, 1818-19, Ch 230, Secs 1, 8, PP 580-84). The County and Administrative Area was the entire southwest corner of St. Charles County. 
For a summary of the County's 2018 resolution and MCHS events / activities in recognition of the bicentennial, click here for reprints of articles from the local newspaper.
A 96-page illustrated and indexed "history" book was created by volunteers in conclusion of the years' events.
November 26, 2021 By: Web Master
Chas Leiper Grigg, Father of Soda Empire
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. 
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 on April 16, 1940, at 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. Click here for the full article
November 6, 2021 By: Web Master
Thomas Jefferson Jackson See (1866-1962)
    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.
    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 questioned by scientists.
    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
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.