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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser


Miller County

[1]

Atwell

It was in the southeast corner of the county, six and one-half miles southeast of Brays. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447, Walter Williams.)

A possible location was at Sec. 11, Twp. 38 N, R. 12 W, north of Highway K. (--Gen. Highway Map of Miller Co., issued by The Missouri State Highway Commission, 6-16-67. Unless otherwise noted, all map descriptions are from this same map.)

Aurora Springs

Aurora Springs was laid out in the fall of 1880, the curative qualities of the springs being a great factor ... Its water was shipped. The railway was pushed through. Business houses included the following: Groceries, restaurants, confectionaries, drugs, hardware, furniture, livery stable, millinery, blacksmith and wagon shops, lumber yard, painting, photograph galleries, masonry, plasterers, meat packers, barbers, shoemakers and jewelers. Professional men included doctors, attorneys, real estate and insurance. Six different churches and an academy were in a flourishing condition. There were several fraternal organizations, including the I. O. O. F., K. of L.; and G. A. R. Population (1889) including West Aurora (q.v.) (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 559, 560, 569; Reference Guide of Mo., Rand, McNally & Co., 1972.)

It is two and one-half miles south of Eldon. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

It is located at Sec. 9 & 10, Twp. 41 N, R. 15 W, on Highway 54, south od Eldon.

Bagnell

Among the picturesque bluffs of the Osage River, the Lebanon branch of the Missouri Pacific Railway terminated, and in 1882 there grew up about it, on the completion of the railway, the town of Bagnell. Businesses were general merchants, druggists, grocers, hotel, saw mill, ferry boat operation, blacksmith and wagon shop, stone quarry and a physician. (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 570.)

It is ten miles north of Zebra, (Camden Co.). (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

It is (was) located at Sec. 8, Twp. 40 N, R. 15 W, on Highway 54. Mail through Eldon. See remarks at the end of this directory.

Blackmer

It was seven miles south of Bagnell. (--Ibid: p. 447.)

It was located at Sec. 2, Twp. 39 N, R. 15 W, on an unmarked road, the extension of JJ, west of Ulman.

[2]

Bliss

Bliss was a post-office 16 miles northwest of Tuscumbia. A church near is known as the Blue Spring Church. (--Gazetteer of Mo., p. 368.)

A possible location was at Sec. 31, Twp. 41 N, R. 15 W, northwest of Bagnell. (--New Atlas of Mo., Map #23, with the aid of Gen. Highway Map of Miller Co.)

Blyze

It was in the southeastern section of the county, near the Maries County line, 4 miles south of Claxby. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

A possible location was at Sec. 2, Twp. 39 N, R. 12 W, on Highway 42. (--Gen. Highway Map of Miller Co., with The State of Mo., in 1904.)

Brays

It was in the southeast section of the county, near the Maries Co. line, four and one-half miles south of Blyze. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

It was located at Sec. 9, Twp. 39 N, R. 12 W., on Highway 42, northeast of Iberia.

Brouse's Bend

It was in the northeast section of the county, near the Cole Co., line, on the C. R. I. & P. R. R., south of Teal (Cole Co.). (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

A possible location was at Sec. 6, Twp. 41 N, R. 12 W. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, with the aid of Gen. Highway Map of Miller Co.)

Brumley (Mill Creek; Thompson's Store)

It is 12 miles south of Tuscumbia, and contained 1 general store, (in 1874). (--Gazetteer of Mo., p. 369.)

It is six miles southwest of Ulman. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

The site of the town was entered by Charles Sheppard, by Warrant No., 35,735, of Zaccheus E. Cheatham, corporal, of Capt. Cole's company militia, War of 1812, in 1858. In 1868, M. Lessem built the first store, and in 1877 the town was laid out by J. M. Hawkins, and given the name of the post-office. The town reached its greatest prosperity between 1883 and 1885 ... There were two general stores, two wagon and blacksmith shops, a drug store, 2 churches, a hotel and a school. (--Hist. of Miller Co., pp. 569, 570.)

[3]

Brunley (Cont)

It is located at Sec. 29, Twp. 39 N, R. 14 W, at the junction of Highways C & 142.

Cainby

It was a post-office listed in Missouri Manual, 1905-06, p. 386. It could not be located.

Capps

Capps is located at Sec. 1, Twp. 40 N, R. 13 W, on Highway 52, west of St. Elizabeth. Mail through Tuscumbia.

Charlestown

Charlestown was but little more than a settlement and post-office. Its former location is unknown. It is gone. (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 571.)

Chester

See Olean. (--Gaz. of Mo., p. 369.)

Claxby

It was in the eastern part of the county, near the Maries Co. line. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

A possible location was at Sec. 34, Twp. 40 N, R. 12 W, on an unmarked road running northeast, south of St. Anthony. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447 with the aid of Gen. Highway Map of Miller Co.)

Cove

See Olean. (--Gaz. of Mo., p. 369.)

Early White Settlement

While the Indians were still here, white hunters and trappers came and went, and soon settled. Among the first of whom information can be obtained was Seneca R. Y. Day, in 1815. He was followed some years later by A. J. Lindley, near the mouth of Big Tavern. About 1821 William and Boyd Miller settled near Spring Garden Prairie, in the northeast part of the county, the first permanent settlers in this territory. (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 531.)

[4]

Eldon

Eldon was built on two levels: Upper or Old Eldon was built near the proposed railway depot, and when the track was laid the grade was not suitable for stopping trains there, and the depot site was removed to its present point around which the new town grew.

In 1881 a company was formed of T. J. Hart, G. R. Weeks, J. W. Weeks and others to secure and lay out a large plat which includes both Upper and Lower Eldon in one, and in the spring of 1882 it was surveyed by H. S. Burlingame. Grand Avenue became the Upper Eldon main street, near the south end of which Mr. Hart built the first store, or rather hauled it from High Point* --- In the fall of 1882 the depot was located at the present (1889) site and Newton, Weeks & Hart built the Eldon Roller Mills, as the first thing in the new quarter ...

Other business houses included, restaurant, grocery, harness and saddle shop, drug store, hotels, millinery, brick yard, mason and shoe maker. Dr. J. W. Temple was the only physician in 1889. There was but one newspaper, the Eldon News which was published for a few months in 1886. L. J. Hart was the publisher.

Eldon is located at Sec. 33, 34, Twp. 42 N, R. 15 W, at the junction of Highways 52 & 54. *Moniteau Co.

Etter or Etterville

It is located in the north part of the county, three miles southwest of Spring Garden, and three and three-quarters miles east of Pleasant Mount. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

It is located at Sec. 28, Twp. 42 N, R. 14 W, on Highway 54, northeast of Eldon.

Fair Play

It was an old store-house on the Osage River one-half mile above St. Elizabeth. (--Gaz. of Mo., p. 369.)

It was near the center of Jim Henry Township, on the north bank of Osage River. (--New Atlas of Mo., Map #23.)

A possible location was Sec. 24, Twp. 41 N, R. 12 W. (--New Atlas of Mo., Map #23, with the aid of Gen Highway Map of Miller Co.)

Faith

Faith was in the southern part of the county, near the Pulaski Co. line, and five miles north of Hawkeye, Pulaski Co., (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

A possible location was at Sec. 12, Twp. 38 N, R. 14 W, on Highway DD.

Hoecker

It was a post-office in 1905-06. (--Missouri Manual, p. 386.)

Location is unknown.

[5]

Iberia (Oakhurst, "Rock Town")

Iberia is ten miles from Crocker (Pulaski Co.), its nearest railroad station, and 16 miles southeast of Tuscumbia. It was settled in 1856, and contained a church, Masonic Hall, 4 stores and 1 saddle shop (1874).

Since there were large bare rocks fringing the town, it led the place to be dubbed "Rock Town." It is located in Twp. 39, R. 12, and the land was entered by Reuben Short, by whom the first log house was built, a structure 17 by 20 feet. W. Pulliam and Wilson Lenox had stores near there as early as 1838 and 1842 respectively. Mr. Lenox secured the post-office named Iberia, and after Dickson & Noyes, in 1859, began on the site of the present town as merchants "Rock Town" assumed the more euphonious name of the post-office. Mark Lessom was a merchant in 1860; Samuel Cork, a blacksmith the same year. Jacob Gardner was a shoemaker in 1861; Frank Lombar was the first druggist in 1866; Dr. Moser came in 1869. Other businesses included general merchants, baking & confections, hotels, stores, barbers, masons, lawyers, physicians and dentists. (--Hist. of Miller Co., pp. 561, 562; Gaz. of Mo., p. 369.)

It is located at Sec. 24, 25, Twp. 39 N, R. 13 W, and Sec. 19, 30, Twp. 39 N, R. 12 W, at the junction of Highways 17 & 42.

Kaiser

It is located at Sec. 2, 8, Twp. 39 N, R. 15 W, near Highway 134 near Lake of the Ozarks State Park.

There was a post-office there in 1905-06. (--Missouri Manual, p. 386.)

Indian Village

About 1822 there was an Indian village on Tavern Creek, near the mouth of Barren Fork, on the bottoms near Wilsons Cave. (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 530.)

Lake Ozark

It is located at Sec. 5, Twp. 39 N, R. 15 W, on Highway V, northeast of 54. Population, 1972, 507.

Lakeland

It was located at Sec. 7, Twp. 40 N, R. 16 W, west of Bagnell.

Lake Side

It is located at Sec. 21, Twp. 40 N, R. 15 W, east of Highway 54, north of Lake Ozark. Mail through Eldon.

[6]

Little Gravois

It was a post-office 8 miles west of Tuscumbia. (--Gazetteer of Mo., p. 369.)

A possible location was at Sec. 8, Twp. 40 N, near the Sec. 5 line, R. 15 W, on Highway 54. It is gone.

Locust Mound

It was 12 miles north of Tuscumbia near Spring Garden, where there was a seminary. It contained a general store. (--Gaz. of Mo., p. 369.)

A possible location was at Sec. 25, Twp. 42 N, Saline R. 14 W., northwest of Eugene (Cole Co.). (--New Atlas of Mo., Map #23, with the aid of Gen. Highway Map of Miller Co.)

Mary's Home

Mary's Home was properly started in 1882 when Morgan & Jenks began a store there and at the same time the Catholic Church was erected, and the church and the town grew together. It was not until 1886-87 that a store was built by Peter Kaullen. George Butzer had a lime kiln and cooper shop. Besides there were two stores, a blacksmith and wagon shop, and a physician. (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 571.)

It is located at Sec. 15, 16, Twp. 41 N, R. 13 W, on Highway N, east of 17.

Mill Creek

See Brumley. (--Gaz. of Mo., p. 369.)

Oak Hurst

See Iberia. (--Ibid: p. 369.)

Olean

Its peculiar name is the result of a somewhat lengthened struggle. Proctor Station was the name first chosen in honor of J. G. Proctor, and the post-office (on account of another Proctor, Mo.), was Cove; this proved unsatisfactory and the name Chester was chosen, but the railway objected and finally Olean was chosen. H. J. Burlingame laid out the town in March, 1882, on three farms owned by himself, James Proctor and Asa Burlingame. (Sec. 12, Twp. 42 N, R 15 W.)

[7]

Olean (Cont)

Business firms included druggists, general merchandise, lumber yards, saw mills, blacksmith, undertaker, and furniture dealer, restaurants and hotels. Dr. W. S. Allen was the physician. J. Goodman was president of Miller County Exchange Bank, organized April 16, 1899, with a capital stock of $15,000. (--Hist. of Miller Co., pp. 567, 568.)

It is located at Sec. 12, Twp. 42 N, R. 15 W, on Highway P, east of 87.

Pleasant Farm

It was a settlement and post-office. (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 571.)

It was a post-office southeast of Tuscumbia. (--Gazetteer of Mo., p. 369.)

There are two locations of Pleasant Farm shown on A New Atlas of Mo., Map #23. One in Richwood Twp; the other in Osage Twp. Apparently the latter was located at Sec. 30, Twp. 40 N, R. 14 W, at the junction of Highways 17 & C, while the former apparently was located at Sec. 5, Twp. 39 N, R. 13 W, on Highway 17, southeast of the first named Pleasant Farm. (--New Atlas of Mo., Map #23, with the aid of Gen. Highway Map of Miller Co.)

Pleasant Mount (now Mount Pleasant)

About 1830 Andrew Burris entered the land now the site of the village ... and the following year opened a store. J. F. Atkinson and W. P. Dixon followed later on ... The place has been a prominent point since an early date. (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 568.)

It is 12 miles north, northwest of Tuscumbia, and was incorporated in 1869. There were 5 churches in and near the town, a school, 1 wool carding and 1 flouring mill, 2 hotels, 7 stores, 2 wagon and 1 saddler's shop, a Masonic Hall and Odd Fellows Hall. Population about 200 (1874). (--Gazetteer of Mo., p. 369.)

It is located at Sec. 25, Twp. 42 N, R. 15 W, at the junction of Highways 54 & FF. Population 20, Mail through Eldon.

Proctor Station

See Olean.

Ramsey

It was a settlement and post-office ten miles east of Tuscumbia. (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 571; The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

[8]

Rock Town

See Iberia.

Rocky Mount (now in Morgan County)

Rocky Mount, as now (1889) located, was located in the site entered by a Mr. Simpson late in the 1840's, and a store was soon opened. In 1870, there were four stores, two blacksmith shops and two wagon makers. In 1889 there was but one store, a restaurant, post-office and a school building. (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 571.)

It was 20 miles west, northwest of Tuscumbia, and was situated between the breaks of the Osage River and the Prairie, and contained 1 store (1874). (--Gazetteer of Mo., p. 369.)

Rocky Mount was in Miller County until 1917-18. Since 1919-20 and following, it has been in Morgan Co. (--Missouri Manual, 1919-20, p. 729.)

St. Anthony

It is located at Sec. 5, 6, Twp. 39 N, R. 12 W, on Highway A, northwest of 42. Mail through Iberia.

St. Elizabeth Saint Elizabeth

St. Elizabeth on the south bank of the Osage River, 18 miles below Tuscumbia, was laid out by Owen Riggs in 1869, and had 1 store and a Catholic Church, the only one in the county. Population (1874) about 60. (--Gazetteer of Mo., p. 369.)

It is in the eastern part of the county, near Maries Co. line. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

It is located at Sec. 33, Twp, 41 N, R. 12 W, at the junction of Highways E & 52.

Spring Garden

Spring Garden is in the northeast corner of the county near the Cole Co. line, 3 miles northeast of Etter. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, p. 447.)

Judge R. Simpson entered the land on the site of Spring Garden about 1830, and in 1868 the first building to be erected was Spring Garden Seminary. Around this grew a small town. In 1881, J. B. Henley and J. P. Sullens opened stores. Other businesses included general merchandise, druggist, 1 physician, notion store, sewing machine agency, and blacksmith shop ... During 1883 the Spy and Mirror was published by J. C. W. Moles, but it was moved to Tuscumbia during the campaign of 1884 and expired soon after. (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 569.)

It is located at Sec. 23, 24, Twp. 42 N, R. 14 W, on Highways 54 & AA, near Cole County line. Mail through Eugene, Cole Co.

[9]

Thompson' Store

See Brumley.

Tuscumbia

Tuscumbia, the county seat is located on the north bank of the Osage River, 35 miles southwest of Jefferson City, is the first settled place in the county. The land was laid out on land donated to the county in 1837 by J. B. Manson; it was incorporated in 1856 and has a population of about 200 (1874). The business houses fill up the narrow bottom between the river and the hills, which are nearly 200 feet high, affording fine sites for residences and public buildings, the court house occupying one of the most commanding. The town contained a good public school, 3 stores, 1 saw and grist-mill, 1 carpenter shop, 1 saddler and 1 wagon shop, 1 livery stable, 1 newspaper, and several small business houses, Mr. Burd Bass is said to have felled the first tree on the ground were Tuscumbia now stands. (--Gaz. of Mo., p. 369.)

It was in a very early day that two bachelors J. P. and J. B. Harrison built a log house on the left bank of the "slough mouth" near the old spring in the dense forest ... Daniel Cummings, in talking with an old Indian, was assured that should he ever build at this point, he ought to have his sills above a certain mark on the bluff-side, and overflows would never touch him. Mr. Cummings did as directed and the houses were almost covered. James Prior Harrison entered the store later ... Several business houses were erected ... Following the erection of the court buildings, other business houses were added from time to time. (--Hist. of Miller Co., pp. 563, 564.)

It is located at Sec. 10, Twp. 40 N, R. 14 W, at the junction of Highways 52 & 17.

Ulman's Ridge now Ulman

It is a post-office eight miles south of Tuscumbia. (--Gaz. of Mo., p. 369.)

Ulman's Ridge has been only a post-office bearing the name of Mr. Ulman, who became the possessor of the land in 1842; later a general store and a blacksmith shop were added. (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 571.)

It is located at Sec. 3, Twp. 39 N, R. 14 W, at then junction of Highways JJ & C, southwest of 17.

It is shown as Ulman's Ridge in Glaze Township. (--New Atlas of Mo., Map #23.)

Watkins

It was a post-office in 1905-06. (--Missouri Manual, p. 386.) Location unknown.

[10]

West Aurora

West Aurora is the station about a half mile to the southwest of Aurora Springs (q. v.). It was laid out by A. J. Armstrong in 1882. P. J. Davidson had the first store, and he was also a large tie contractor ... (--Hist. of Miller Co., p. 560.)

It is located at Sec. 16, Twp. 41 N, R. 15 W, on an unmarked road west of Aurora Springs.

Although West Aurora is shown on the Gen. Highway Map of Miller Co., it is not listed in Standard Reference Map Guide of Missouri, 1972, Rand McNally & Co.

Bagnell Dam

In a marvelously beautiful scenic setting out in the blue hills of the Ozarks, Bagnell Dam and the Osage Hydro-electric Plant were begun on August 6, 1929. The first concrete was poured about eight months later. With bewildering speed and skill, the power plant went into operation on October 16, 1931, adding 129,000 kilowatts of hydro-electric power to the capacity of the Union Electric interconnected system of power plants serving the metropolitan St. Louis area and communities in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa.

Almost 30,000 acres of the bottom of the Lake of the Ozarks had to be cleared of trees and underbrush before the dam was built. Many farm houses, miles of road and railroad, and even small towns had to be relocated at Union Electric's expense. When the lake began to fill, local pessimists were predicting economic disaster as fast as the water rose. The lake, they claimed, would ruin the economy by inundating the farmers and covering productive land. Legal proceedings were instituted and arguments were advanced that the lake would be a menace to navigation and would bring swamp conditions that would be a menace to health. But the courts upheld Union Electric and construction continued.

The lake Bagnell Dam created ranks among the world's largest artificial bodies of water. With a width varying from one to three miles and a main channel length of 129 miles, the sprawling "Missouri Dragon" has a shoreline measuring 1,375 miles -- longer than that of Lake Michigan.

It is true that former farmland lies beneath the lake's blue waters, but the assessed value of Bagnell Dam and of the resorts and private homes that have mushroomed in its wake runs many millions of dollars more than all the area's farmland put together. In addition, annual business dollar volume each year runs into the millions.

The dam, towering 148 feet above bedrock, was constructed by Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation of Boston. It stands as a monument of engineering triumph, 2,543 feet long, impounding 673 billion gallons of water. The maximum number of men employed at one time was 4,634, the average being 3,000. The total number of employees hired was approximately 20,500. Men from all the states in the Union and from nine foreign countries were employed.

Enough lumber was used in the concrete form work for the dam and in houses and camp buildings to build a boardwalk like that in use at Atlantic City -- but long enough to reach half-way from Atlantic City to Philadelphia.

Sixty thousand carloads of construction materials were hauled to the dam site. These cars placed end to end would make a solid train reaching from St. Louis to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Concrete used in the dam would build an 18-foot roadway six inches thick, reaching from St. Louis to Topeka, Kansas.

What was a world's record in pouring concrete was made at Osage when 5,082 cubic yards of concrete were poured in a single 24-hour day. Over 113,000 cubic yards were put into place in one month. Thirty-seven years ago these were impressive figures.*

*(This report was written for a Midwest conference made at Tan Tara August, 1967.)

Before construction work began on the dam it was necessary to do much preliminary work such as building bridges, gravel plants, railways, houses, dormitories, dining halls and kitchens, commissary store, fire department, school, jail, a hospital with ambulance facilities, a power plant, water supply and sewer system. A model town of five to six thousand population was established at the dam to provide facilities for workers on the project.

For more than two years a study of the maximum and minimum flows of the Osage River, utilizing available records, was made to determine the amount of power that could be economically generated and the size of spillways necessary to take care of the flood waters. The geologic formation was thoroughly observed. The entire basin was searched for subterranean tunnels or sink holes that might cause the water of the lake to run off and be wasted. It was found that the Osage is a free basin with little or no seepage.

A careful survey of the entire area was necessary to determine the value of the lands inundated at the different proposed levels for the reservoir. The proper balance was found to be at elevation 660 feet above sea level.

From the standpoint of installed capacity, the Osage Development was by far the largest project of its kind in the middle west and ranked fifth among the developed water powers in the United States. The original cost was over $30,000,000. Two more generating units were subsequently added to the original six. These and the substation required an additional investment of more than $5,000,000. Today it would require an investment in excess of $100,000,000 to duplicate this generating station.

The average yearly output of the Osage Plant is 440,000,000 kilowatt hours. The eight generators have a capacity of 21,500 kilowatts each. The generators spin at a rate of 112 1/2 revolutions per minute and develop 13,800 volts each.

To bring the power developed at Osage to Rivermines and to the St. Louis district was a considerable task. To locate the most direct line over the Ozark mountains, through forests, over valleys and rivers, the airplane rendered a new and helpful service, Photographic surveys for the transmission lines were made by aerial cameras from 5,000 feet.

Delivery of power generated at the Osage Plant to the system of Union Electric was accomplished by means of wood pole transmission line to the Page Avenue substation of St. Louis and a double circuit steel tower transmission line to the lead district at Rivermines. Both of these points were connected to the network of transmission lines of the Union Electric System. Two million pounds of copper and over half a million pounds of aluminum cable were used for the transmission lines.

Now, power from Bagnell Dam is sent over four transmission lines to St. Louis where it is tied into a huge power pool from which customers are served. The substation above the dam feeds power into the Union Electric end of an inter-connection with Kansas City Power & Light Company. Through this tie the two utilities can contribute to efficient operation of each by bringing surplus electricity up to capacity of 345,000 kilowatts.

A part of the vast territory which the U. S. Government in 1808 purchased from the Big Osage and Little Osage Indians for $1,200 has been transformed, through the creation of the Lake of the Ozarks, into one of the most popular and finest vacationlands in the nation. Vacationers and one-day visitors number in the millions each year, and the estimated volume of business per year is over $65,000,000.

The area is promoted as a family vacation-land, and there are accommodations to suit any budget -- you can stay in a tent or in a $65-a-day suite. Off the main highways, however, tucked down in the "hollers," one can still find the small, dilapidated "hillbilly huts." In them the native Ozarkians still live simple rural lives, completely undisturbed by the hustle and bustle of the resort areas a few miles away.


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