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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser


Gasconade County

[I]

Gasconade County was organized by legislative act, approved November 25, 1820. It was erected out of Franklin County and attached to it all the unorganized territory of the State to the south and west, and like Wayne County, it was called in a jocular way, the "State of Gasconade". The territory included in it was reduced by organization of other counties until it nearly reached its present limits in 1835. In 1869 the last change was made, when thirty-six square miles were taken from it and added to Crawford County. The first county seat was called Bartonville, and later the name was changed to Mount Sterling. The village is now in Boulware Township, near the western line, twenty-four miles from Hermann. (--Encyclopedia of the History of Mo., 1901, Conard, Vol. 3, p. 5.)

The name is from “Gascon" an inhabitant of Gascony. The people of that province were noted for their boastfulness. It was applied by the early French to the Indians who bragged about their boastfulness. The name means, v. i., to boast, brag, bluster, and thus the river received its name. The waters of the river are boisterous and boastful and the name is also descriptive.
(--How Missouri Counties, Towns And Streams Were Named, Third Article, David W. Eaton, p.169. From a series in Missouri Historical Review.)

One of the first settlers in the county, if not the first, was Isaac Best, who owned a horse mill somewhere in the northern part of the county. . .Following an attack by the Shawnese Indians, he abandonded the mill and paddled down the Missouri River to the nearest settlement.

The first permanent settlers, it is believed, came into the county in 1812...

On March 3, 1829, Isaiah Bowen, familiarly known as Col. Bowen, and family, pitched their tents on the banks of the Bourbeuse, (spelled also Bourbois) about one and a half miles south-east of the present site of Red Bird. The colonel came to Missouri as an employee of Samuel Massey (spelled also Massie), the founder of the Meramec Iron Works, in 1828, and superintended the building of the first grist-mill at that place. . .It was the only mill in that part of the county until sometime in the l870’s when the Red Bird mill was built.
(-- History Of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington And Crawford Counties, 1888, Goodspeed, pp. 619, 620, 621.)


[II]

Gasconade County was organized by an act approved November 25, 1820. . .The act of organizing the county was to go into operation January 1, 1821. (The boundaries are set out in The History of Gasconade County, but are too lengthy to include here.)

All that portion of Franklin County, which lay west of Gasconade County, as above described, and west of the line through Range 4 and south of Gasconade County was attached to Gasconade County for civil, military and judicia1 purposes, until such time as it should be erected into one or more counties.

On January 14, 1825, the boundaries were changed. . .(Here they are defined.5 A glance at the map will show that the boundaries included a part (twenty-seven square miles) of what is now Crawford County, a part, (seven and a half townships) of what is now Maries County, and the whole of what is now Osage County...Gasconade City, or the town of Gasconade was selected as the first county seat. (--History Of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington And Crawford Counties, 1888, Goodspeed, pp. 623, 624, 625.)

Townships

The first day the county court was in session, the following townships were established: Clark...Boulware. . .Boon...

Skaggs Township was laid off January 21, 1822.

Gibson Township was laid off May 7, 1822...

Gray Township was laid off the same day...

Collins Township was laid off the same day...

Bourbois Township was organized June 18, 1832...

Roark Township was organized July 7, 1834...

Osage Township was organized May 6, 1839...

March 8, 1841, after the creation of Osage County, Gasconade County was divided into four municipal townships as follows: Bourbois. . .Third Creek. . .Boulware. . .Roark. . .Canaan Township was organized November 14, 1846...

Richland Township was organized July 20, 1846...

Brush Creek Township was organized May 14, l858, by the division of Bourbois Township into two townships by a line running north and south one mile east of Range 6.

In 1888 the townships were: Roark, Boeuf, Canaan, Brush Creek, Bourbois, Third Creek, Boulware and Richland. Township organization has not been experimented with in Gasconade County. (--History Of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington And Crawford Counties, 1888, Goodspeed, pp. 625, 626, 627, 628.)


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