Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser
Congress organized Missouri as a Territory July 4, 1812, with a Governor and General Assembly ... Under the act of June 4, 1812, the first General Assembly held its session in the house of Joseph Roubidoux, in St. Louis, on the 7th of December, 1812 ... The next session of the Legislature convened in St. Louis, December 6, 1813 ... (--Hist. of Mo., 1885, St. Louis Pub. Co., pp. 27, 28, 29; Hist. of Greene County, 1883, Holcomb, pp. 27, 28, 29.)
St. Charles County was organized October 1, 1812, by proclamation of Gov. William Clark, in accordance with an act of Congress, which organized the districts of St. Charles, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau and New Madrid into the same number of counties.
The county, or district of St. Charles, as it was originally called, had no definite limits. It extended from the Missouri River on the south, to the British Possessions on the north; and from the Mississippi River on the east to the Pacific Ocean on the west. It retained these dimensions until 1816, when Howard County was cut off from the western part of St. Charles, and organized into a separate municipality. Cedar Creek, which forms the eastern boundary of Boone County, was established as the line between St. Charles and Howard. In December, 1818, Montgomery and Lincoln Counties were organized, and St. Charles was reduced to its present limits. (--History of St. Charles Co., 1885, St. Louis Pub. Co., p. 126.)
At that time there were but five counties in the territory -- St. Charles, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau and New Madrid. These, however, included an almost limitless territory west of the Mississippi. But at the second session of the Legislature, the county of Arkansas was formed, which then contained a population of 827 inhabitants.
By each succeeding Legislature, new counties were formed from the territory of former ones as the country continued to settle up ... The City of St. Charles was made the seat of government, and here the Legislature held its sessions. (--Ibid: pp. 186, 188, 189.)
The Forts of St. Charles County
Prior to the transfer of the country to the United States, we have little or no information of the condition of the affairs between the Indians and the French and Spanish settlers. Their relations, however, were nominally friendly ... until about the time of the War of 1812. Relations became strained, with several raids by the Indians, and Tecumseh, one of the ablest chiefs of the Indians advanced the thought that eventually the Indians from the area would be driven to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The Indians objected to this theory.
The settlers of Missouri ... lost no time in preparing themselves for the protection of their homes ... In St. Charles County, a number of forts were built ... The principal forts erected here were:
Daniel M. Boone's fort, in Darst's Bottom, which was the largest and strongest in the county; Howell's fort, on Howell's Prairie; Pond's fort, on the Dardenne Prairie, a short distance southeast of the present town of Wentzville; White's fort, on Dog Prairie; Koontz fort, on the Boone's Lick road, eight miles west of St. Charles; Zumwalt's fort, near the present town of O'Fallon; and Castlio's fort, near Howell's Prairie. (--Hist. of St. Charles Co., pp. 151, 152.)