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 8 of 8
January 13, 2024 By: Web Master
Bygone Towns
This list is copied from a RootsWeb site called "Ghost Towns."  It describes several locations in Montgomery County that are long gone, but not forgotten.  Related resources include:

November 24, 2023 By: Web Master
County Officials
Thanks to volunteers for compiling extensive lists of Montgomery County Officials. Most lists are scanned and found under Museum & Library > Research Documents > County Officials. Some include short bios.
November 24, 2023 By: Web Master
Post Offices & Postmasters

MCHS has a list of the County’s Post Offices and Postmasters,complied in 1990 by the amazing volunteer and museum curator Marj Miller (1923-2017). The source is “Record Group Description 028 Postal Service Record of Appointment of Postmasters for Montgomery County, Missouri page 658 and Site location file R25/2716 Box 376.” Information after 1960 may have come from other sources. An unsubstantiated and undated newspaper article claims that “In 1894 Montgomery County became the first county in the US where the PO tired out its newfangled Rural Free Delivery [RFD] services.”

Click here for an Article on USPS Postal history website about RFD. The service began in 1896 to deliver mail directly to farm families. Before RFD, rural inhabitants had to pick up mail themselves at sometimes distant post offices or pay private express companies for delivery. More on RFD history from Wikipedia. In 2022, The U.S. Postal Service had almost 80,000 rural delivery routes serviced by some 133,000 rural letter carriers. See also the Missouri Postal History Society website.
July 15, 2023 By: Web Master
Americus Court Records & JOP B. S. Baker
A volunteer discovered an old municipal court docket book (1894-1909) in the MCHS files. The book is handwritten and includes civil and criminal court records of Justice of the Peace Benjamin Sharp “B.S.” Baker. The index is found here. Photos of some pages are found here.
 
B. S. Baker descended from one of the original settlers in Montgomery County, who was also a JOP. The JOP concept originated in England and filled a need in the United States in areas where there were few lawyers. It allowed minor cases to be addressed quickly. The Americus cases are mostly about debts owed, but disturbing the peace and assault cases are also documented. There was a sever intolerance for gambling - the fine for such was up to $25, whereas assault was penalized with a $1-5 fine. 
 
Click here for the article about the the court records and the Baker family. MCHS is thankful to Baker descendants Donald L. Baker, M.D. and Cheryl Baker Hagedorn for graciously sharing their family research and graphics for this article. 
May 14, 2023 By: Web Master
Best Bottom Store Ledger 1877-78
A website visitor shared scans of an old store ledger identified in the page headers as Best Bottom. There are 144 pages and most handwriting is incredibly legible, showing debits for purchases and credits for trades of goods. The price for each individual item is clearly documented, an example page is hereKallmeyer’s Best Bottom Store Ledger began on 10 April 1877 and the last entry was 1 November 1878. These dates represent a complete book - It is unclear how many volumes there were or how long the store operated. The original proprietor, Garrett Kallmeyer was appointed as U.S. Postmaster in January of 1874 and he later relocated his family to Los Angeles. He was replaced as U.S. Postmaster by William R. Van Booven on 28 Jul 1886. 
 
Best Bottom Store Ledger Header p.28
Click here for an article about the history of Best's Bottom and the Kallmeyer familyAppendix A shows an alphabetical partial list of last names of over 70 customers, so the reader can determine if their ancestor shopped at Kallmeyer’s Store. Appendix B shows an 1878 map of the area, illustrating that most customers lived nearby. Appendix C offers a wider view of the location. Kallmeyer also managed a boat landing on the Missouri River, a well-used mode of transportation prior to railroads, automobiles and reliable/quality roads. River travel by canoe, steamboat or ferry was quite common.
 
The Holtwick family's "shopping list" over this period is transcribed in Appendix D. It includes an apparent list of wedding gifts for their son - see how $8.85 helped start a young couple's household in 1878.
May 14, 2023 By: Web Master
County Naturalization Records
Montgomery County Courthouse Naturalization records from approximately 1904 -1936 were indexed by an MCHS volunteer. The list is divided into Declarations of Intention, Petitions and Oaths, and Petitions for Naturalization. Also included are some Department of Commerce and Labor Certificates. Most researchers are familiar with the courthouse fires in 1864 and 1901. It is suspected that earlier naturalization records burned, but the exact inventory of lost court records is not clear. Researchers of families in Lower Loutre should also check naturalization / court records in Hermann, Gasconade County.
 
In general, naturalization was a two-step process* that took a minimum of five years. After residing in the United States for two years, an alien could file a "declaration of intention" ("first papers") to become a citizen. After three additional years, the alien could "petition for naturalization" (”second papers”). Here is an explanation of Naturalization Records and a  history of the Declaration of Intent.
 
May 13, 2023 By: Web Master
Old Newspaoers - Great Resources!
This list of Montgomery County Delinquent Taxpayers in 1833 is reprinted from a St. Louis Genealogical Society publication, XXVI, 4. The introduction states “This land was offered for sale by the state with the proviso that delinquent owners could reclaim it by paying the taxes and a fee.”
 
It was sourced from the Jeffersonian Republican dated 22 February 1834. The State Historical Society of Missouri has indexed this newspaper (1831-1844) and several others. Use this tool to search for article citations from the Index.
 
 
April 9, 2023 By: Web Master
Dinner & Presentation "Native Ground"
MCHS Annual Dinner will take place on Sunday, 23 April. The speaker, Dr. Brad Lookingbill, will speak on Native Ground. Missouri was native ground to diverse tribal groups, who descended from the first people to make it home. The Osage, Quapaw, Otoe, Missouria, Ioway, and many other tribal groups resided in parts of the state before its boundaries appeared on a map. The original inhabitants developed fascinating cultures in relation to the rivers, prairies, plains, plateaus, and woodlands.
 
The most powerful tribal group in the early history of Missouri called themselves Ni‐U‐Ko’n‐Ska, meaning “Children of the Middle Waters.” Europeans referred to them as the Osage Indians. Their way of life represented a blending of indigenous cultures characteristic of both Plains and Woodland inhabitants. With the leadership of chiefs, the Osage exhibited customs and traditions that shaped social relations. See Chapter1 from Missouri: The Heart of the Nation, which includes a list for further reading.