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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser


Shelby County

[1]

Alps

Alps was situated on Sec. 28, Twp. 59 N, R. 9 W. (New Atlas of Mo., 1874, Campbell, Map 13.)

Highway W runs through this section which is south of J in the eastern part of the county. (--General Highway Map of Shelby Co., issued by The Missouri State Highway Department, 3-1-62. Unless otherwise noted all map locations are from this map.)

Bethel

The first building on the present site of Bethel was the dwelling house of Peter Stice, who came to the locality in the fall of 1835, having been previously entered the land on both sides of North River (east half of Section 33-59-10). In November Stice threw a dam across the river and erected a small watermill, a "corn cracker," which was afterward resorted to by the settlers for miles around.

In the fall of 1844 Dr. William Keil (pronounced Kile), George Miller and others came and laid the foundation of a colony, of which Dr. Keil was the acknowledged leader and head. Dr. Keil was a native of Prussia, but came directly from Pittsburg, Pa. He was a physician ... and well versed in theology. His doctrine was somewhat new ... He belonged to no church organization or denomination whatever, and never sought to found any.

Traveling through western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, Dr. Keil preached to the German families in their own language, and announced that he was in favor of establishing in the far West a settlement whose members showed the faith and practices of the early Christians and own all property in common ...

Keil and his associates having made all due preparations in the fall of 1845, about 500 colonists came in from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa. At that time the buildings on the town site were the old corn-cracker water-mill, built by Peter Stice some 10 years before, Vandiver's old brick house, and two cabins down on the river close by the mill. For some time, there was lack of proper accommodations for the women and children, but all went to work at once to supply the deficiency and soon numerous clay-walled houses ... arose and life was fairly begun in the new colony.

Communistic as were the doctrines and practices of the colony all was harmony and satisfaction ... Everybody worked .... There was a purchasing agent and treasurer ... but no man -- not even Dr. Keil -- owned more than another.

Soon after the main colony was established at Bethel branches or off-shoots were formed on the south side of North River, just opposite Bethel; the collection of houses was called Mamri. A mile north of Bethel wa Hebron; a mile east was Elam. Dr. Keil directed affairs from Bethel ...

[2]

Bethel (Cont)

All kinds of industries were established. In the fall of 1845 work was begun in a large mill, on the site of old Peter Stice's, which was torn away, and its dam discarded.

The new mill was run by steam ... At first it was but a grist and saw-mill, but afterwards a fulling and carding mill was added, and in time patent looms were put in and woolen cloth was manufactured. Also a distillery was added ... The first miller was Matthews.

There were shoe shops, and blacksmith shops a hatter shop and there was a glove factory, which took the premium at the World's Fair in New York City in 1858. The Bethel Buck gloves were celebrated everywhere. The first store was managed by David Wagner ... (The Civil War took its toll.) Dr. William died in Oregon in 1879, and soon after his death there was a general dissolution of both colonies he had founded.

(The property was appraised and divided among the members.)

There were several stores in the place, together with the usual mechanical and trade shops to be found in every county town.

The town was incorporated as a town November 6, 1883 ... (--Shelby Co., 863, 867, 868, 869.)

It is situated on Sec. 20, 29, Twp. 59 N, R. 10 W on J north of M.

Burksville

It is located in the eastern portion of the county near Marion County line. (--The State of Mo., in 1904, Williams, 519.)

The post-office was discontinued pre 1905. (--General Scheme of Mo., 1905, Taft, 107.)

It was named for John T. Burks, its first postmaster. (--How Mo. Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named, Eaton, Fifth Article, 67.)

It is situated on Sec. 33, Twp. 59 N, R. 9 W north of 168.

Mail is via Shelbyville -- rural, no population. (--Standard Ref. Guide of Mo., 1974, Rand McNally.)

Cherry Box Taylor Township

Cherry Box was the name of a post-office in the northwest quarter of the township, which had for some time past been "on wheels," as it were, being at first one house and then another, as a man could be found willing to assume and duties of the office. (Shelby Co., 882.)

It was a post-office 10 miles northwest of Shelbyville. (--Campbell's Gazetteer of Mo., 1874, 603.)

[3]

Cherry Box (Cont)

It is in the northwest corner of the county, west of Leonard. (--Williams, 519; Map of Mo., 1911, Rand McNally.)

It is situated on Secs. 9, 10, 15, 16, Twp. 59 N. R. 11 W, on C north of 151.

Christine

It was the first station south of Shelbyville. (--Map of Mo., 1917, Rand McNally.)

Clarence elevation 825 feet

The town of Clarence is situated on the east half of Sec. 17, Twp. 57 N, R. 12 W, about one mile and a half from the western line of the county. It was laid out October 20, 1857, by John Duff, the principal contractor for the building of the St. Joseph Railroad. He was, of course, not the sole owner of the town site, which belonged to the Land Company, whose agent he was.

The town site was originally listed as swampy ground, and purchased from Shelby County by Fleming Turner, who sold it to John Duff & Co. The land was first conveyed by the Government, to the State and by the State to the county.

It is said that the town was named for one of old John Duff's children, who took his name, perhaps, from the famed Duke of Clarence -- "False fleeting perjured Clarence, who stabbed me in the field by Tewksbury."

The first house in the place was built by Wilson Hamilton, in the fall of 1857, not long after the town was laid out. It was a small frame, and stood on Lot #10, Block 7 of the original town ... on the corner of Maple and Center Streets ... Hamilton had at first a few goods, chiefly of railroad supplies, but not long afterwards opened a sort of eating house.

In 1858 the first post-office was established, and C. S. Watson was made postmaster ...

The first school was taught by a Mr. Strong, who, as best remembered, did not finish the term ... (--Shelby Co., 849, 850, 851; Campbell, 603.)

It is on the western edge of the county, four miles from Anabel, Macon Co. (--Williams, 519.)

It is situated on Sec. 17, 16, Twp. 57 N, R. 12 W at the junction of 36 & 151.

[4]

Crooked Creek

It was a station on the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, 6 miles west of Shelbina. (--Campbell, 603.)

See Lentner.

It was situated on Sec. 20, 21, 28 & 29, Twp. 57 N, R. 11 W at the junction of 36 & AA.

Elgin

Elgin was located on the northern edge of the county near Clark County. (--Williams, 519.)

The post-office was discontinued pre 1905. (--Taft, 105.)

It was situated on Sec. 3, Twp. 59 N, R. 10 W east of 15.

Emden

Emden is in the southeast portion of the county near Macon County. (--Williams, 519.)

It is situated on Sec. 25, 26, Twp. 59 N, R. 9 W at the junction of Z & 168.

It was named for Emden, Germany. (--Eaton, Fifth Article, 67.)

Enterprise

It is located in the southwest corner of the county. (--Williams, 519.)

The post-office was discontinued pre 1905. (Taft, 105.)

Mail is via Clarence -- rural; no population. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Epworth

It is in the northern portion of the county, 4 1/2 miles east of Leonard. (--Williams, 519.)

It is situated on Sec. 23, Twp. 59 N, R. 11 W on M west of 15 north of Bethel.

Mail is via Shelbyville -- rural; no population. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

[5]

Franklinville

Franklinville was north of Oakdale. (--Map of Mo., 1925, Rand McNally.)

Hager's Grove

The site of Hager's Grove was purchased by John Hager of William P. Norton, of Ralls County. A blacksmith shop was run for some time, and the locality was known as Hager's Grove. In the spring of 1857 William P. Casey, Dr. Pile and Joseph and William Walker, from Iowa, bought a steam mill and put it in operation at Hager's Grove. A man named Spaulding ran a blacksmith shop here at the same time. Sometime afterward Thomas J. Blackburn established a small grocery store, whose stock of trade reportedly, consisted of a barrel of whiskey, some crackers and cheese and some staples. The store was in a log house.

In a year or so, Dr. Pile and William Walker both died, and in August, 1859, G. L. & B. F. Smith bought Blacksburn's stock, and making several changes, opened a store in Dr. Pile's former house, a two-story frame. The Smith Bros. had Ed Gray, then the county surveyor, to come and lay out a village in lots. In 1859 a post-office was established, and B. F. Smith appointed postmaster.

The Smith Bros. ran the store until in 1861, when Morris Osborn came in and he and B. F. Smith ran it until 1863, when, owing to the troublous times incident to the Civil War, the store was closed and the goods sold at auction. In 1866 Irwin and John Patton opened another store ... In 1885 it had a dozen houses, two general stores, a drug store, a blacksmith shop and the mill, also a post-office.

Not long before the Civil War broke out George James bought an interest in the saw mill and added thereto a grist mill and distillery ... While the distillery existed it is said that frequent drunks and free fights were the rule at Hager's Grove. (--Shelby Co., 878, 879; Campbell, 603.)

It is situated on Sec. 15, Twp. 58 N, R. 12 W at the junction of C & K.

Mail is via Clarence -- rural; no population. (--Rand, McNally, 1974.)

It was named for the owner of the townsite, John Hager. (--Eaton, Fifth Article, 67.)

Kellerville

It is the first station northwest of Shelbyville (--Map of Mo., 1925, Rand McNally.)

It is situated on Sec. 16, 21, Twp. 58 N, R. 11 W at the junction of N & K.

Mail is via Shelbyville -- rural; no population. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

[6]

Hebron

See Bethel.

Hunnewell elevation 960 feet

The town of Hunnewell was laid off August 15, 1857, by Josiah Hunt, land commissioner of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad ...

The town was named for H. Hollis Hunnewell, of Boston, a native of New Hampshire and connected with the Hannibal & St. Joseph Land Company ...

In February or March, 1857, Stephen Doyle built a small store house a little west of what afterward became the town's limits. This afterward became the store of Doyle, Kellogg & Co., and had claim of being the first store in the place. Practically, and to all purposes, it was in the town ...

In the fall of 1857 came the first hotel, which was moved up from Clinton, (Monroe County), by a Mr. Ball and his son-in-law, one Smith ...

The first post-office was established in Snider & Co's. store in the fall of 1857, and John H. Snider was the first postmaster.

In 1859 the first school house was built. It was a frame building and was located in the western part of town, south of the tracks ... The first teacher was named Shaw, a Massachusetts Yankee and a graduate of Harvard.

Hunnewell was first incorporated as a town May 3, 1969. (--Shelby Co., 855, 860, also Campbell, 603.)

It is situated on Sec. 36, Twp. 56 N, R. 9 W, at the junction of V & 136.

Note: Clinton, Monroe County, also was known as Somerset Post Office. (--Hist. of Monroe Co., 1884, 186.)

Kendal

Kendal is south of Oakdale. (--Map of Mo., 1917, Rand McNally.)

It is situated on Sec. 28, Twp. 57 N, R. 9 W on an unmarked road west of Hunnewell Wild Life Area.

Mail is via Shelbina -- rural; no population. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Kirby

Kirby is located in the central portion of the county, four and one-half miles northwest of Shelbyville. (--Williams, 519.)

The post-office was discontinued pre 1905. (--Taft, 105.)

[7]

Kirby (Cont)

It is situated on Sec. 10, Twp. 58 N, R 11 W on an unmarked county road northeast of Kellerville.

Mail if via Shelbyville -- rural; no population. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Lakenan

The village of Lakenan was laid out on the H. & St. J. R. R. in June, 1858, by John Duff, the old contractor, who was the proprietor of the site. It wa named for Hon. Robert Lakenan, who owned a large farm north of town, who was then a prominent attorney in Hannibal.

There was a depot and some dwelling houses in Lakenan when the Civil War broke out, but Bill Anderson and his band burned the depot in July, 1864, when they made their raid into this city. Since the war, the village had grown into a very pleasant little rural situation. It had three or four stores and the country, not only in Shelby County, but in Monroe County, from which it was distant by less than a mile. (--Shelby Co., 872, 873.)

It is situated on Sec. 6, Twp. 56 N, R. 9 W at the junction of T, PP & 36.

Mail is via Shelbina; population 125. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Leonard

The hamlet now called Leonard, on the northwest quarter of Sec. 30-59-11, on Black Creek, was formerly called Millersburg, from Adolphus Miller who built the mill there after the Civil War. Isaac Watson was the owner in 1884. There were two or three stores, and a post-office. The latter gives the name to the hamlet. (--Shelby Co. 879.)

It is situated on Sec. 25, 30, Twp. 59 N, R. 11 W at the junction of 151 & M.

Lentner's Station Clay Township

It is situated on the northeast corner of Sec. 29-57-11, in Clay Township, but immediately on the line between Clay and Salt River, and on the Hannibal & St. Joseph R. R. The road divides the townships, all west being in Clay, and east in Salt River. The depot building is in Clay Township. The station was at first called crooked Creek, then after a time John L. Lathrop, of Chicago, a large owner in this township, named in Lentner. (--Shelby Co., 879)

It is located at the junction of A & 36.

[8]

Mamri

See Bethel.

Maud

Maud is located in the southwest corner of the county near Monroe County line. (Williams, 519.)

The post-office was discontinued pre 1905. (--Taft, 105.)

It is situated on Sec. 24, 25, Twp. 56 N. R. 12 W, on DD east of 151.

Mail is via Clarence; population 75. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Millersburg

See Leonard.

There is a Millersburg in Callaway Co. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Nelsonville

Nelsonville was 15 miles northeast of Shelbyville and contained a store and 1 church. (--Campbell, 603.)

There is a Nelsonville in Marion County. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

"New York"

In the fall of 1835, a company of speculators, at the head of which was Col. William Muldrow, of Marion County, entered about one-third of the land in the county, thousands of acres at a time. Extensive tracts were entered in other counties. The money was furnished by Eastern capitalists, Rev. Dr. Ely, John McKee, Allen Gallagher, and others, all from Pennsylvania. Dr. Stile Ely was a prominent divine of Philadelphia, Pa., and put into the enterprise (and lost) $100,000.

The company founded the towns of Philadelphia, Marion City, and West Ely and Marion College, in Marion County, and sold thousands of dollars worth of lots to credulous Eastern investors, many of whom were persons of moderate means, who desired to secure homes in the Great West. Some of these came on, and found that the flourishing "towns and cities" that had been described to them existed only on paper, and returned to their homes disgusted and much poorer financially.

[9]

"New York" (Continued)

Col. Muldrow and his associates came over into Shelby and laid out a town in the northwestern part of the county in the fall of 1835. The town was called New York. It was located on Sections 1,2,3,12 and 13 in Township 58, Range 11. It was well and regularly laid out in streets, lots and blocks, and the plat was very pretty to look at. Quite a number of lots were disposed of to gullible parties elsewhere, but "New York" was always a town without houses.

Eventually the speculators came to grief. Other investments proved disastrous, and they soon found that people were acquainted with their schemes and would not bite ... It is perhaps but fair to say, however, that Muldrow was only about 40 years ahead of his time. Such investments in 1875 as he proposed would have been profitable. (--Shelby Co., 653, 654.)

There is a New York in Caldwell Co. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Oakdale

Oakdale was situated on Sec. 5, Twp. 57 N, R. 9 W. (--New Atlas of Mo., Map 13.)

It was located in the southeast portion of the county near Marion County line, on R. F. D. from Shelbina. (--Williams, 519.)

The post-office was discontinued pre 1905. (--Taft, 105.)

Pansy

Pansy was situated in Tiger Fork Township, on Sec. 17, Twp. 59, Range 9. (--Map of Mo., 1894, Rand McNally.)

Shelbina elevation 780 feet

The City of Shelbina was laid out August 11, 1857, by Josiah Hunt, acting as attorney for William Osborne, of Waterville, New York. Maj. Hunt was the land commissioner of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company. The first dwelling places on the town site were one or two little shanties north of the railroad track ...

In the fall of 1857 a few medium sized frame houses were built. Kemper Bros. had the first store on the north side of the track opposite the depot. They kept a small general stock.

[10]

Shelbina (Cont)

Soon after a number of saloons were built along the north side and fighting whiskey flowed freely ...

In the winter, or by the spring of 1858, R. A. Mofitt had a store on the south side of the track ... Judge Samuel B. Hardy had a small store in a building on the north side of the track. The first school house was built some time in 1859 ... Among the first teachers was Charles M. King. (--Shelby Co., 844, 845.)

It is situated on Sec. 33, 34, Twp. 57 N, and Secs. 4, 5, Twp. 56 N, R. 10 W at the junction of 15 & 36.

Shelbyville

Shelbyville was laid out by the county seat commissioners in the fall of 1835 ...

The first house in the place was built by Abraham Vandiver late in the fall of 1835 and completed in the early winter of 1836. It was of huge hewn logs, a story and a half high, and was built on Lot 7, in Block 8, or just south of the extreme southwest corner of the square ...

Here the first tavern stand was opened, the first courts in the town held, and the first goods sold ...

The first incorporation was as a town, and made by the county court January 5, 1859 ... In August, 1877, the town was organized as a city of the fourth class. (--Shelby Co., 836, 841, 842. See, also, Campbell, 603, 604.)

It is situated on Sec. 20, 21, 28, 29, Twp. 58 N, R. 10 W at the junction of 168, 15 & K.

Sigsbee

It is in the northeast corner of the county near Lewis and Marion County line. (--Williams, 519.)

The post-office was discontinued pre 1905. (--Taft, 105.)

It is situated on Sec. 14, 23, Twp. 59 N, R. 9 W on JJ spur, north of J.

Mail is via Philadelphia, Marion Co.; no population. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Tiger Fork Bethel Township

It was situated on Sec. 3, Twp. 59 N, R. 9 W. (--New Atlas, Map 13.)

There is a Tiger in Bates Co. (--Rand McNally, 1974.)

[11]

Walkersville

Walkersville was situated on the North Fork of Salt River, 5 miles south southwest of Shelbyville, and had 1 church -- Baptist, a saw and grist-mill and a carding machine. Population about 50. (--Campbell, 604.)

It was situated on Sec. 18, Twp. 57 N, R. 10 W. (--New Atlas of Mo., Map 13.)

West Springfield

West Springfield was a post-office 12 miles northeast of Shelbyville. (--Campbell, 604.)

It was situated on Sec. 24, Twp. 59 N, R. 9 W.


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