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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser


Phelps County

[1]

Arlington

Arlington was originally owned and laid out on the railway line by T. C. Harrison. It is a historic community in that the oldest resident there remembers its having been in five successive counties, St. Louis, Gasconade, Crawford, Pulaski, and Phelps, and for a time was the capital of Crawford. For a time, when Arlington and General Fremont's town on the other side of the Gasconade -- Jerome -- were the railway termini, it was thought that these would be the site of large places, but businesses moved with the termini, and left Arlington, with one general merchant, a hotel, a drug store, and a band saw-mill. (--State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., p. 675.)

Arlington, on the A. & P. R. R., (Frisco), is 12 miles southwest of Rolla, and on the Gasconade, at the mouth of the Little Piney. It contains 2 stores, and is a prominent lumber shipping-point. (In 1874, the population was about 150.) (--Gazetteer of Missouri, Campbell, 1874, p. 425.)

It is located at Section 18, Township 37 N, Range 7 W, on Highway 66. (--General Highway Map of Phelps Co., issued by The Missouri State Highway Department, 10-1-70. Unless otherwise noted, all map descriptions are from this map.)

Arroyo

It was near Arlington. (--General Scheme of Missouri, December 1905, Still P. Taft.)

It was used by the Railway Mail Service in routing mail on trains.

Austria

This small town is on the Crawford Co. line, north of Winkler. The population is about 15. (--Map of Missouri, issued by Missouri Home Life Insurance Co.)

Beaver Valley

It was at the junction of the Beaver Branch with the A. & P. Railroad, (Frisco), 5 miles west of Rolla, and had 1 store. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 435.)

Beulah

It is mentioned on page 675 of State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co.

It was located at Section 27, 28, Township 34 N, Range 9 W, on Highway K, west of 63.

Big Prairie Post-Office

It was established, with Shelby Crawford as postmaster, before John Wood laid out Scioto, the predecessor of St. James. (Scioto was laid out in 1859). (--State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., pp. 630-670.)

[2]

Blooming Rose

It is mentioned on page 675 of State of Missouri, History of Phelps County.

It was a post-office 27 miles south of Rolla. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 435.)

It was located at Sections 31, 36, Township 34 N, Ranges 10 & 9, on Highways K & ZZ, in the southwest corner of the county.

Bucklands

It was on the A. & P. R. R., 5 miles west of Rolla. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 435.)

Clementine

It was located at Section 3, Township 36 N, Range 10 W, at the west edge of the county, on I-44, south of Powellville.

Craddock

It was located at Section 20, Township 34 N, Range 8 W, on an unmarked road south of Edgar Springs.

De Camp

It was in the southeast corner of the county, east of Elk Prairie. (--Map of Western States, 1911, Rand, McNally & Co.)

Dillon

It is on the A. & P. R. R., (Frisco), 5 miles east of Rolla. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 435.)

It is located at Section 33, Township 38 N, Range 7 W, on the Frisco R. R., east of Highway V crossing of I-44.

Doolittle

It was located at Sections 11 & 12, Township 36 N, Range 9 W, southeast of Newburg at Highway T & I-44.

Douglas City

It was in the northern part of Rolla Township, west of Dillon. (--New Atlas of Missouri, Campbell, 1874, map #27.)

Also, there was a Douglas in Gentry Co., (1874). (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 18.)

[3]

Duke (Later it was listed as being in Pulaski Co.)

It was located in the southwest corner of the county. It was located at Sections 10 & 13, Township 34 N, Range 10 W, on Highway K, west of JJ.

Edgar Springs

Edgar Springs was entered by J. M. Lenox about 1859 ... The lots were laid out in 1871, and the place gradually grew. (--State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., p. 674.)

It is a post-office 19 miles southwest of Rolla. It contained a store and a school-house. The latter was used for worship, (1874). (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 435.)

It is located at Section 1, Township 34 N, and Section 36, Township 35 N, Range 9 W, on Highways 63, FF & M.

Elk Prairie

It is mentioned on page 675, State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co.

It was located at Section 4, Township 36 N, Range 7 W, on Highway 72, southeast of Rolla.

Flag Springs

It was in the northeast part of the county. It was located at Section 10, Township 38 N, Range 9 W, at the intersection of Highway T with M.

Flat Wood

It was a post-office 8 miles northwest of Rolla. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 435.)

Friedes

It was in Miller Township. Apparently it was in Section 21, Township 38 N, Range 6 W, near Cave Spring Creek. (--New Atlas of Missouri, Campbell, 1874, Map #27, in conjunction with General Highway Map of Phelps Co., issued by The State Highway Department.

Hinkle

It was a post-office in 1924. Location is unknown. (--U. S. Postal Guide, 1924.)

[4]

Ivory

Ivory was in the northwest corner of Rolla Township. (--New Atlas of Missouri, Campbell, 1874, Map #32.)

Also, there was an Ivory in St. Louis Co., on the St. L. I. M. & S. R. R., 8 miles west of St. Louis. (Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 514.)

Jerome

In 1874 the plat of Jerome was declared vacated and many town additions were vacated. (--State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., p. 641.)

Jerome is on the Gasconade River and on the A. & P. R. R. 14 miles west of Rolla, and had 1 store, 1 school-house and 3 saw mills, (1874). (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 435.)

It is located at Sections 13 & 24, Township 37 N, Range 10 W, on Highways D & 66.

Jacobs

Jacobs was in the northeast part of the county, near the Crawford Co. line. It was 4 miles north of Knobview (Rosati). (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, p. 477.)

Knobview (Later known as Rosati)*

It was a post-office in 1924. (--U. S. Postal Guide, 1924.)

*U. S. Postal Guide, 1861.

It was on the Frisco R. R., near the Crawford Co. line. (--Map of Western States, 1911, Rand, McNally & Co.)

However, in 1874, Knobview was shown to have been in Crawford County. (--New Atlas of Missouri, Map #27; Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874, Campbell, p. 23.)

Knobview, (near the railway) was a post-office. (--State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., p. 623.)

Little Piney

See Ozark. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 435.)

Little Prairie Post-Office

The Shawnee Indians had a burial ground two miles south of Little Prairie Post-Office. (--State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., p. 625.)

Little Prairie was in the southwest corner of St. James Township, northeast of Dillon, or southwest of St. James. (--New Atlas of Missouri, Map #27.)

Little Prairie Post-Office was later known as St. James. (--U. S. Postal Guide, 1861.)

[5]

Macedonia

It was located at Section 11, Township 38 N, Range 8 W, on Highway 63.

Mackado

Mackado was between Newburg and Rolla. (--Map of Western States, 1911, Rand, McNally & Co.)

Meramec Spring Iron-Works

Phelps territory, previous to the advent of the Pacific Railway, (now Frisco) seemed to be a kind of border land between other more urban districts, and so it was bandied about among five different counties until its organization, which was the real beginning of urban life in the territory embraced within the county.

There had been a kind of village before this, at the famous Meramec Spring, on the eastern border of the county, but it was dependent on the existence of the iron-works at that point.

Thomas James, of Chillicothe, Ohio, came out prospecting for iron in 1825, and finding at Meramec Spring a good bank, sent out his foreman, Benjamin Massey, to open up the works in which Massey was part owner ... The works flourished until the depression in business, in 1873, and on account of the new process and other things, Mr. James failed and the works closed for the first time in about a half century. Their shipping-point was finally at St. James.

Meramec Iron-Works Post-Office was established circa 1826, with Samuel Massey, as the first postmaster.

Thomas James had the Iron-Works, and it was in his honor that the town of St. James was named. (--State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., pp. 628, 658, 659.)

Meramec Iron-Works

The Iron Works 7 miles southeast from St. James, has about 200 inhabitants, all employees of the works owned by the James estate. It contains 1 store, 1 Union Church and a school-house. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 436.)

Meramec Spring is located at Section 2, Township 37 N, Range 6 W, on Highway 8.

Newburg

Newburg was located by Capt. C. W. Rogers, in 1883, and the Burns and Burnett house was the first building. Its incorporation occurred in November, 1888, with W. J. Scanlin as its first mayor, and N. L. Burnell, J. M. Dickinson, F. L. Kitchel, J. Moore and J. W. Scanlin as trustees. As in all railroad division towns, it sprang up at once. (--State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., p. 672.)

Newburg is located at Sections 15 & 22, Township 37 N, Range 9 W, at the junction of Highways P & T.

[6]

Mudville

It was in the southeast portion of the county, approximately 4 to 6 miles north of Norman. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, p. 477.)

Mitchell

It was 5 miles east of Rolla, on the Frisco R. R. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, p. 477.)

Norman (also known as Howerton P. O.)*

Norman was in the southeast part of the county, 4 miles north of Winkler. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, p. 477.)

It was located at Section 16, Township 36 N, Range 6 W, on Highway F, in the southeast section of the county.

*It is shown as Howerton Post-Office, on the Map of Western States, 1911, Rand, McNally & Co.

Northwye

Northwye is located at Section 36, Township 38 N, Range 8 W, on Highway 63, north of Rolla.

Ozark (formerly Little Piney)

A new town on the A. & P. R. R., 10 miles west of Rolla, contains 1 store, 1 church, school-house, and a population of 300 (1874). This village has sprung up as if by magic -- the result of the Ozark Iron Works. It is neatly and substantially built, and is well supplied with water, conducted from a neighboring spring to a reservoir on a hill above the village, and thus distributed. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 436.)

Powellville

It is located at Section 24, Township 37 N, Range 10 W, on Highways 66 & I-44, north of Clementine.

Rathbone

Rathbone was four and one-half miles northwest of St. James. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, p. 477.)

Relfe

It is mentioned on page 675 of State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co.

It was 20 miles southeast of Rolla, and contained 1 store, 1 flouring-mill, and 1 carding-machine and cotton gin. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 436.)

[7]

Rosati (formerly known as Knobview)

Rosati is in the grape producing area. At one time, the Welch Grape-Juice Co., had extensive holdings in the area. (--Miss Sue Fregard, Reference Librarian, Springfield Public Library.)

Rosati is located at Section 12, Township 38 N, Range 6 W, on Highways 66 & I-44.

Rolla

Rolla was a child of the railway and the county, and surely no child was ever born in greater throes or trouble; even its name was the result of wrestlings between wills and wits. The first "squatter" to erect a building on the site of it was John Webber, whose double log house and log store were located about a quarter-mile west of the court-house site. This was his home until after the Civil War. In 1855, the railway contractors, J. Stever & Co., who had the contract for grading thirty-one miles east of the Gasconade, built their general offices near Webber's. This was what is now (1889) the home of Mr. E. W. Bishop, who was the resident partner. The suspension of the railway in 1857-59, left Mr. Bishop unemployed, and he turned his attention to entering land, having already chosen the site of Rolla about 1856. The pacific Railway and E. W. James also entered land now comprised in the limits of the county seat. The location of the county seat then became a fight. Dillon or Webber's (the Pacific Railway offices) were the desires of two factions. Mr. Bishop offered fifty acres of land, and had maps to show that his site was nearest the point directed in the act of location, and after much shrewd management and hard legal fighting, the point was chosen in 1858.

The name was the next scramble. John Webber wanted to call it Hardscrabble; Bishop wanted to call it Phelps Center, and an old Carolinian, George Coppedge, wanted to christen it Raleigh. Mr. Coppedge's strong will, and Mr. Bishop's antipathy to fasten a Carolinian name to the town he was so instrumental in founding made a compromise a necessity. "Yankee" wit was brought into service, and Mr. Bishop proposed to accept Mr. Coppedge's name on one condition -- namely that the name should be spelled Rolla. His proposition was accepted. Mr. Bishop had remembered his youthful experiences in the well-known play in which Rolla and Alonzo Medea made a cloak serve their friendship.

The first sale of lots was made in the spring of 1859, when the whole site was forest. In the fall of 1859 Joseph Holly built his frame house west of the court-house site ... Buildings were rapidly built just north of the court-house site, and along Fourth, Fifth, Center and Main Streets, and somewhat on Third Street ... The boarding-house business flourished. The prospect of the railway invigorated business. The court-house was erected in 1860-61 ...

[8]

Rolla (Cont)

The temporary county court was held in the log engineer's office, on the site of Millard's Lumberyard, on Eighth Street. Within six months Rolla grew from nothing to seventy-five houses and about 600 people ... On the first day of 1861 the Express says: "Last Monday evening, about 5:30 o'clock, the citizens of Rolla were greeted by the arrival of the first passenger train of cars at the snug little depot, which has, within a short time, been erected at this place." ...

Upon all this bright dawn of business the cloud of war fell; its very importance mad it the first point to be taken by the troops of the Federal Army ... The general military headquarters were in the old two-story log engineer's house, on the vacant lots west of the Rolla Mills. The place was fortified by a series of trenches and earth-works, almost surrounding the city, and especially strong to the southwest, covering a radius of about a mile. The court-house was fortified by rifle-pits. Two massive forts covered the city on the south and Fort Wyman, on the south hill, about a mile distant, still (1889) reveals its ruins -- a good structure, over 400 feet square, it is said, with its outer walls (beyond the moat) of slanting timbers to make the balls glance off and upward. The center of the stockade was sheltered, and a fine flowing well was driven. The fort which was on the site east of the School of Mines, is a picturesque ruin now, (1889) but was then a powerfully built fortress in the form of a Greek cross, with its two pairs of arms measuring over 300 feet, and all covered; its double-packed, timbered enclosures rose several feet above the roof, and in the center of the cross was a circular elevation, on which the heavy cannon were placed. The timbered walls were guarded by a ditch and trenches beyond them ...

Following a disastrous fire in 1865 on East Eighth Street, and another one about 1880, the city passed an ordinance forbidding the erection of wooden buildings in the fire limit ...

In November, 1870, at the petition of E. W. Bishop, C. C. Bland, et al, $25,000 more was issued as a bid for the School of Mines to be located on the site of Fort Wyman, and this secured it. (--State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., pp. 641, 659, 660, 661, 662, 663.

Note: For other possible sources of the naming of Rolla, the reader is invited to consult Our Storehouse of Missouri Place Names, Ramsay, pp. 76, 77, 78, 112, 119. They are too lengthy to include in this work.

Rolla is located at Sections 1, 2, 3, 13, & 14, Township 37 R, Range 8 W, on Highway 63, 72, 66, I-44, BB, E, and HH.

[9]

Royal

It was located on the section line between Sections 3 and 4, Township 39 N, Range 6 W, on Highway B, south of the Gasconade County line.

Saint James (also St. James)

Saint James, on the A. & P. R. R., 104 miles from St. Louis and 10 miles east of Rolla beautifully situated on an elevated prairie, was laid off as Scioto by Mr. John Wood in 1857. It was purchased by Messrs. William James and James Dunn, who changed the name to St. James. The first town lots were sold in 1859, and soon after Mr. Alfred Leathers built the first frame house. Mr. James built the first store, known still as the Big Red Store, (1874), and soon after the St. James hotel was erected. The town is second in importance in the county, and large quantities of iron and iron ore are shipped from here. It contains 8 stores, 1 church, a school-house, a Masonic Hall, a merchant flouring-mill and 1 woolen and carding-factory. Population, (1874) about 600. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 436.)

St. James, the second town of Phelps County, is beautifully situated on Big Prairie, where Josiah Isbell first entered land in 1836 ... In 1859 the town was first laid out as "Scioto" by John Wood, but the name was changed the following year to St. James ... When the railway reached the town site, in 1860, the products of the Meramec Iron Works and other banks were shipped from there; fire clay also has been an export. (--State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., p. 670.)

St. James is located at Section 20, Township 38 N, Range 6 W, on Highways 66, I-44, & KK.

Sands

It was located north of Vida, on or near Highway 63, possibly in Section 3, Township 36 N, and Section 34, Township 37 N, in Range 8 W. (--Map of Western States, 1911, Rand, McNally & Co., with the aid of General Highway Map of Phelps Co.)

Sarvis Springs

It was northeast of Blooming Rose, apparently in the southeast corner of Section 20, Township 34 N, Range 9 W, north of Highway ZZ. (--New Atlas of Mo., Map #27, with the aid of General Highway Map of Phelps Co.)

Seaton

Seaton was in the southeast corner of the county, at Section 28, Township 36 N, Range 7 W, on Highway JJ, west of 68.

[10]

Signal

Signal was near the Maries County line, 7 iles north of Rolla. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, p. 477.)

Sills

Sills was between Newburg and Rolla. (--Map of Western States, 1911, Rand, McNally & Co.)

Spading

Spading was 3 miles south of Jacobs and 1 mile north of Knobview (Rosati). (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, p. 477.)

Spanish Needle Post-Office

Spanish Needle Post-Office was established about 1836, at the store of William Hawkins, the postmaster. (--State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., p. 630.)

But, according to Map #27, in New Atlas of Missouri, 1874, Campbell, Spanish Needle was in the southeast corner of Maries Co.

Spring Creek

Spring Creek at the west edge of the county, at Section 10, Township 35 N, Range 10 W, on Highways M & J, was 25 miles south of Rolla, and had 1 store, a flouring mill and a school-house. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 436.)

It is mentioned on page 675 of State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co.

Stony Dell

It was located at Section 24, Township 37 N, Range 10 W, south of Jerome and Arlington.

Taylor's

It was located on the A. & P. R. R., 3 miles west of Rolla. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 436.)

Titus

It is mentioned on page 675 of State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., but the exact location is unknown.

Vessie

Vessie was southeast of Clementine. (--Map of Western States, 1911, Rand, McNally & Co.)

Vest

Vest is mentioned on page 675 of State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co., but the exact location is unknown.

[11]

Vida

Vida was located at Section 10, Township 36 N, Range 9 W, on Highways 63 & W, south of Rolla.

Winkler

Winkler was located in the southeast corner of the county, at Section 14, Township 36 N, Range 6 W, on Highway 68, north of Dent Co. line.

Yancy Mills

Yancy Mills is mentioned on page 675 of State of Missouri, History of Phelps Co.

It was 13 miles southwest of Rolla, and contained a flouring mill. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 436.)

Yorks

Yorks was in Arlington Township, east of Little Piney and Jerome. Apparently it was south of Newburg, in Section 22, Township 37 N, Range 9 W. (--New Atlas of Missouri, Map #27, with the aid of General Highway Map of Phelps Co.)

 

 


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