Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser
The act for the organization of Bollinger County was approved on March 1, 1851. It was formed from portions of Wayne, Cape Girardeau and Stoddard Counties. The county was organized at the storehouse of John C. Whybark, on March 24, 1851, by Reuben Smith, John Stevens and Drury Massey, justices. Oliver E. Snider qualified as clerk, and William C. Grimsley as sheriff. The records of the court were burned on March 2, 1866, therefore no account of their transactions exist prior to that time.
Soon after the organization of the county, a brick courthouse about thirty feet square and two-stories high was erected. It was destroyed by fire, and a similar building was completed by private subscription and partly by appropriation. In March, 1884, it was also destroyed by fire, but it had previously been condemned as unsafe, and had been abandoned by all officers except the circuit clerk. At the general election in the following November a vote was taken upon the proposition to remove the county seat to Lutesville, but the corporation of Marble Hill voted $1,000 and the citizens raised subscriptions for the rebuilding of the court house in that town, and the proposition to remove it was defeated by a vote of 1,266 to 750... (--History of Southeast Missouri, 1888, Goodspeed, pp. 377, 378.)
There were two engagements in this county during the Civil War; one in 1861 near Patton, and one in 1863 near Marble Hill (then Dallas) besides several skirmishes between scouting parties, and many murders and robberies by guerillas. (--Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 63.)
The townships in the county are: Crooked Creek, Cedar, Filmore, German, Liberty, Lorance, Union, Wayne and White Water. (--Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, 1901, Conard, Vol. 1, p. 318.)
Bollinger County was named in honor of George Frederick Bollinger. Bollinger was born in North Carolina of Swiss parentage. His father was a soldier in the Revolutionary Army, and was shot at his home by Tories. George Frederick was the fourth son. In 1796 he settled on the White Water River, then in the district of Cape Girardeau...Bollinger became acquainted with Louis Lorimier, commandant of the post at Cape Girardeau, who promised him concessions of land if he would induce settlers to locate in the country. According to Spanish rules, settlers could locate on 800 arpens of land (about 640 acres) upon payment of fees which amounted to forty-one dollars, but they were required to make improvements and become permanent settlers. Bollinger returned to North Carolina, and came back to Upper Louisiana with his wife and twenty colonists and their families. This party...crossed the Mississippi River at Ste. Genevieve, January 1, 1800...
They all located on land along White Water River, each taking up from three to four hundred arpens...Bollinger built a log mill about 1801 and soon replaced it with a stone one...In 1805 Rev. Samuel Weiberg (or Whybark as it is now spelled) came from North Carolina upon the invitation of Major Bollinger and fellow members of the German Reformed Church...During the Civil War the county was the scene of a few small skirmishes... (--Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, 1901, Conard, Vol. 1, pp. 316-317-388.)
Springfield-Greene County Library