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

     The Montgomery County Historical Society (MCHS) is a 501(c)(3) corporation. The Society owns two buildings in Montgomery City that house an extensive genealogical library and a museum of artifacts and antiques. All research requests replies, building staffing/maintenance and website management are donated by volunteers.
     If you like what you find here, please become a member and/or make a donation to help us continue our mission. We also welcome contributions of your own research, be it family history or documented historical articles that would interest other visitors.
     Pioneer Days, a 96-page illustrated history of the County, has been well-received by both those new to our history as well as long-time residents. 

Home page articles are archived to Misc.History Articles and
Rhineland Germans Articles all of which can be searched by keyword.

JOP Baker & Americus Court Records

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. He also ran a general store in Americus.Return address on envelope.
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 severe intolerance for gambling - the fine for such was up to $25, where as assault was penalized with a $1-5 fine. The index is found here. Photos of some pages are found here.
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. Please contact the webmaster if you have something to share with visitors.
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.          Return to Top of Page

Editing Tips for Family History Videos

A Girl Scout shared this website which she found helpful in creating a presentation about her Irish genealogy for the “Family Heritage Fun Patch.” She wrote: It's a nice overview of how to create a videography of your family's history. It includes tips for what questions to ask, how to make your video more personal and even includes additional research tools for tracing your family's lineage!

MCHS added the link to the Online References page. The writer found this page a great “short cut” to wonderful research aids … check it out!  The Webmaster is always grateful for input … what can you share to help others with their research?

Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.          Return to Top of Page

Old Newspapers - 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 other old Missouri papers. Search for article citations from the Index.
The Montgomery Tribune, 1900-1910, and The Rhineland Record, 1885-1952, can also be searched digitally.
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.          Return to Top of Page

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.
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.          Return to Top of Page

Prussian Immigrants & Letters Home

Much has been written to answer “Why emigrate from Germany?” The common reply is “avoidance of military conscription,” but that is far too simplistic. Recall that the first arrival of Nordrhein-Westfalen immigrants into Loutre was in 1845. More appropriate responses to “Why?” include these historical facts, further explained in Modern Prussian History:
  • Population growth in Prussia (58% between 1816 and 1849); recall there was no “Germany” until 1871 (1850 map)
  • Bad weather and crop failures; 1845-47 are called “the hunger years”Prussian King Crown
  • Industrialization and cheap British imports replaced the handicraft home-based production; impoverishing the weavers in Nordrhein-Westfalen
  • Conflicts regarding land use; aristocratic and bourgeoisie ownership
  • Mass poverty and “pauperism” due to all of the above
  • Disenchantment with the promised reforms of Frederick Wilhelm IV, King of Prussia, whose reign began in 1840
These cold facts are personalized by an article (written by a German, circa 1950) that references letters home from a settler in Hermann, Missouri in 1851-52.  The reader can learn first-hand what rural Missouri life was like in the 1850’s. The immigrant’s enthusiasm for America also illustrates the academic term “chain migration.” He writes to his brother in Prussia: But if you are not willing to come, then stay in the land of the slaves, and slave yourself as long as you can.
If such "personalized history" appeals to you, also consider Our Daily Bread, German Village LIfe by Teva Scheer, to better understand the challenges our ancestors faced and feel what it was like to live (and starve to death) in the German states prior to 1850. 
Thanks to a member for sharing this article. If a reader has additional information regarding source or references, please share with the webmaster. If your personal files include such letters home (or similar treasures) please share a copy with MCHS.
Articles about Prussian ancestors archived in Rhineland Germans.Articles                    Return to Top of Page

September 30
MCHS Board Meeting
The MCHS Board meets monthly at the MCHS building.

October 28
MCHS Board Meeting
The MCHS Board meets monthly on the fourth Saturday at the MCHS building.

November 11
Veterans Day
With respect, honor and gratitude ... Thank you for your service. 

November 23
Happy Thanksgiving
tis the time to be thankful!

December 12
Ellis Island in New York closes
From 1892-1954, millions of immigrants pass thru.