A Directory of Towns, Villages, and Hamlets
Past and Present
of Cole County, Missouri

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser


Cole County

This county and Moniteau form the center of the State, the east line of Cole being 15 degrees and 2 minutes west of the longitude of Washington, and county seat 38 degrees 35 minutes north latitude. The Osage River forms the eastern and southeastern boundary, the line of Moniteau the western, and the Missouri River the northern boundary...

The Osage was known to the French traders and trappers...who named the river, in honor of the tribe who dwelt there, Ouachage, or "The Strong." Gray's Creek was named by the pioneer, John Colgan, who lost an old gray mare there in the fall and found her the following spring in good condition...

Moniteau County was cut off in 1845...The townships in 1880 were Clark, Jefferson, Liberty, Marion, Moreau, and Osage. (--Hist. of Cole County, 1889, Goodspeed, pp. 203, 206.)

Some of the earliest marriage records of 1821, 1822 and 1823 are recorded on pp. 218, 219.

The earliest settlement made within Cole County, as now constituted was that by the Tennessee Colony in 1815-16, at the mouth of the Moniteau...Among the Moniteau party were John Inglish and his four sons...John Inglish, who built the first brick house in the county, located just west of the mouth of the Moniteau...The Osage River, which forms the eastern and southeastern boundary, was known to the French traders and trappers of the 18th century, who named the river, in honor of the tribe who dwelt here. Oua-chage, or "The Strong." (--Hist. of Cole County, pp. 204, 212.)

This county originally formed a part of St. Louis County, as established in 1812. In 1815 it became a part of Howard, with the county seat of William Jolly's house at Cole's Fort. In 1818 it was transferred to Cooper County, and so remained until November 16, 1820, when the act of establishing Cole County was approved. The boundaries of the new county were defined as follows:

All that part of Cooper County beginning on the Missouri River at the line between Ranges 14 and 15; thence in a southwesterly direction to the corner of Townships 45 and 46, Ranges 15 and 16; thence south with said range line to the main channel of the Osage River; thence down the middle of that river to the middle of the main channel of the Missouri River; thence up the Missouri River in the middle to a point due north of the place of beginning; thence south to the place of beginning...

The county court of Cole County was opened April 2, 1821, at the house of John Inglish. (Hist. of Cole Co., p. 222.) (However, on page 234 of the same history, the following entry is made: The first entry on record of the circuit court is dated Jan. 15, 1821, when David Todd--opened court at the house of John Inglish, with Paul Whitely, sheriff.)


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