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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser



Barwick is situated at Sec. 26 & 35, Twp. 57 N, R. 29 W on Highway D south from 36.(--General Highway Map of Caldwell Co., issued by The Missouri State Highway Commission, 11-1-66. Unless otherwise noted all map locations are from this map.)

Mail via Kidder--rural; no population.(--Standard Ref. Guide of MO., 1974, Rand McNally.)

Black Oak

The village of Black Oak is situated in the southwestern part of Davis Township, on the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Sec. 29. Its origin dates from the year 1872, when Joseph Owens established a general store here...The village was laid out by Sam'l D. Davis, February 1, 1871. It now (1866) contains a population of perhaps 125; had in all half a dozen stores and shops, a hotel...a church, a school house, etc.

Black Oak was incorporated as a village Sept. 6, 1880...(--Hist. of Caldwell Co., p. 589.)

It is situated in the southwest section of the county on PP west of KK.

Mail via Braymer; population 50.(--Rand McNally, 1974.)


The town of Bonanza was situated on Shoal Creek, in the western part of New York Township, three and a half miles due east of Kingston, and three and one-half miles southeast of Hamilton. West half of the southeast quarter of Section 14. The origin of the village is due to the existence of the now noted Bonanza spring which is located within the bed of Shoal Creek on the town plat.

Prior to the spring of 1881 the virtues of the Bonanza spring were unknown, save to a few...

In the spring of 1881, Dr. N. M. Smith of Kingston, formed a co-partnership with the owner of the land, W. B. Rutherford, Esq., and in June of that year the town was laid out...Under Dr. Smith's direction the water was analyzed, the spring improved...and the town fairly started during the summer of 1881...

The first house was completed by July 4, and was used first as a restaurant and then as a store. It was built and owned by Dr. Smith, whose wife afterwards conducted the store...Kern & Farrabee opened the first drug store in the fall of 1881.

The post-office was established in December, 1881, and Manford Kem was the first postmaster. The town was named by Dr. Smith. "Bonanza', a Spanish word signifying "good venture." In March 1882, Bonanza was incorporated by the county court as a village. B. Q. Fellows was one of the first mayors.

A population of 75 was claimed for the village in 1886.(--Caldwell Co., pp. 447, 448, 449.)


It was situated at Sec. 19, Twp. 56 N., R. 27 W on an unmarked county road west of F.

The post-office was discontinued prior 1905.(--General Scheme of MO., 1905, Taft, for the use of Railway Mail Clerks, p. 14) (It is no longer listed.)

Braymer (elevation 755 feet)

Braymer, a city of the fourth class, seventeen miles southeast of Kingston...It had Baptist, Christian, Methodist Episcopal and United Brethren Churces, a graded school, 2 banks, a flouring mill, tile and brick works, two papers, two hotels and about fifty business enterprises. Population 1899 (estimated) 1,000.(--Encyclopedia of the Hist. of MO., 1901, Conard, Vol. 1, p. 359.)

Braymer was laid off in 1887 and named for Judge Daniel Braymer, a banker.(--How MO. Counties, Streams & Towns Were Named, Eaton, p. 266 from a series in Missouri Historical Review.)

It is situated at Secs. 10, 11, & 15, Twp. 55 N, R. 26 W at the junction of 116, N & A.

Breckenridge (elevation 930 feet)

The town of Breckenridge stands on the southwest portion of Section 10, of Breckenridge Township, two miles from the east line and about one and a half miles from the north line of the township.

The town was laid out in the early fall of 1856...Prior to the laying out of the town there had been a store and post-office a mile east--the latter called Grand River. Joab Houghton was the first proprietor of the store and its managers were Davis & Terrell. Afterwards A. G. Davis owned the store and Wm. Calvin was his clerk.

The first building in Breckenridge was a small frame building in the eastern part of town, which was occupied by Hon. P. S. Kenney, as a store building.

The first building after the town was laid out was either a saloon owned by Brank Trosper and John Gist, or the store of Sidney McWilliams. The town was named in honor of John C. Breckenridge, of Kentucky, then Democratic Candidate for Vice-President under James Buchanan, and afterwards elected. The second syllable should be spelled "in" and not "en" as according to the testimony of his son, Hon. C. R. Breckinridge, the member of Congress from Arkansas; this was the mode of spelling used by Gen. Breckinridge himself.(--Caldwell Co., pp. 637, 638.)

Breckenridge Breckinridge, eleven miles east of Hamilton, was laid out in 1858 by J. B. Terrell, Henry Gist and James A. Price. It had 1 large steam flouring mill, 1 brewery, 1 broom, 1 cabinet, 3 carriage and 1 plow factory, and about 20 stores, 1 lumber yard, 2 hotels, 1 bank, 1 large grain depot, 5 church buildings...(--Campbell's Gazetteer of MO., 1874, p. 90, Conard, Vol. 1, 35.)

It is situated in the northeast corner of the county at Sec. 10, Twp. 57 N, R. 26 W on M north from Business 36.



Catawba had a church and school-house, two general stores, a hotel, wagon and carriage shop, etc. It was laid out and platted December 3, 1884. Population, 1886, 150. (--Caldwell Co., p. 480.)

It was a post-office 10 miles east of Kingston.(--Campbell, p. 90.)

It was situated at Sec. 20, 21, 28 & 29, Twp. 56 N, R. 26 W on Highway F west from A.

The post-office was discontinued prior 1905.(--Taft, p. 14) (It is no longer listed.)

Cowgill (elevation 960 feet)

It is situated in Lincoln Township at Sec. 21 & 22, Twp. 55 N, R. 27 W on B south from 116.

Cowgill, laid off in 1887 and named for Judge Thomas Cowgill, a prominent citizen of the county.(--Eaton, p. 266.)

Cox's Mill

In 1843 Solomon Cox built a water mill on Shoal Creek at the site of Salem--or rather near it, for Salem did not lie immediately on Shoal Creek, but half a mile south of the stream, and nearly the same distance from the mouth of Log Creek, in the angle between the two streams. It was washed away many years ago (from 1866).(--Caldwell Co., p. 123.)


Down in Carroll County, at De Witt, on the Missouri, in the spring of 1838, Gen. Geo. W. Hinkle and John Murdock, as trustees for the Mormons, purchased the town site, laid it off into lots, and soon a thriving village of one hundred business houses was built in De Witt. De Witt was designed to be a steam boat landing and a point from which goods and immigrants could be forwarded to Caldwell County.(--Caldwell Co., p. 118.)

Elk Grove

Elk Grove was in Fairview Township.(--Caldwell Co., p. 167, 168.)


See Kidder.


Far West

The site of Far West was selected by John Wittmer and W. M. Phelps, constituting an exploring committee sent out by the Mormons when they had crossed the river from Jackson County into Clay...where they might locate and not be disturbed. The town site was a mile square, and lay five miles in a direct line northwest of where Kingston now stands...The numbers of the land comprising the original plat were the southwest quarter of Section 10, northwest quarter of Section 15, northwest quarter of Section 14, all in Township 36, Range 29.

The town site was entered August 8th, 1836. Nearly all the first houses in Far West were log cabins. In a few months, however, some frame houses were built...Perhaps the first house built was by one Ormsby; this was in the summer of 1836...

In the summer of 1838, there were 150 houses in Far West. There were 4 drygoods stores, 3 family groceries, half a dozen blacksmith shops, and 2 hotels; a printing press and material were in the place, but no printing was ever done--at least no paper was issued.

In the summer of 1838, preparations were begun for the building of a temple in the center of the town...The Mormon records at Salt Lake City show that the corner stone was laid July 4, 1838...But little else was done, however, than to lay the corner stone.

Upon the departure of the Mormons, in 1839, many of the houses of Far West were either torn down or hauled away into the country to be used for farm and dwelling houses. The town, however, continued to be the county seat until 1843. The first house in Kingston after the town was laid off was removed from Far West by Walter A. Doak. Upon the removal of the county seat the town gradually sank into insignificance and dwindled away. The post-office, which was established in the fall of 1836, was continued for many years. The cemetery west of the town gradually fell into disuse and decay and in 1836 was a cornfield.

In 1886, the one mile square which formerly composed the town of Far West was cut up into fine farms...(--Caldwell Co., pp. 120, 121, 122.)

It was situated at Sec. 22, 14, Twp. 56 N, R. 29 W on D north from H.


The little hamlet or village of Glassville was situated near the center of Lincoln Township, on the northeast quarter of Section 25. It was never regularly laid out and platted and had no official existence. It had been a "local habitation," but a few years (in 1886) and contained a dozen houses, including two stores, a post-office, blacksmith shop, etc. Population 25.(--Caldwell Co., p. 526.)

Nothing is shown on the map; Highway 116 runs on the south side of the section which is in Twp. 55 N, R. 25 W.



See Nettleton.

Gould Farm

It was in New York Township, northwest of Catawba.(--Map of MO., 1925, Rand McNally.)

It was eight miles south of Nettleton.(--The State of MO., in 1904, Williams, p. 341.)

The post-office was discontinued pre 1905.(--Taft, p. 14.)

Grand River

See Breckenridge.

Hamilton (elevation 990 feet)

In the early fall of 1854, after the line of the projected Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad had been surveyed and located near where it now is, certain gentlemen formed a "town company," for the purpose of locating and building a town or towns on the line of where Hamilton now is, or near Nettleton, and it was expected to purchase the land of its owners...

In the spring of 1855, 40 acres (W. 1/2 Se. and E 1/2 Sw. Sw. Section 13) was laid off into lots and blocks...

It was first intended to name the town Prairie City, but Mr. Albert G. Davis decided to call it Hamilton, partly, as he said, in honor of Alexander Hamilton, and partly for Joseph Hamilton, attorney and soldier, who was killed under Gen. Harrison, at the battle of the Thames, in Canada, October 5, 1813, during the War of 1812 with Great Britain...

The first house in Hamilton was built by Albert G. Davis, in the summer of 1855...In the spring of 1857, Mr. Davis built the first store house in Hamilton. It was a frame building...

The railroad was completed through Hamilton February 14, 1859...The first depot was built in the fall of 1859, some months after the road came...Albert G. Davis was the first railroad and express agent...The first post-office at Hamilton was established in 1858. Albert G. Davis was postmaster...(--Caldwell Co., pp. 345, 346, 347, 348. See, also, Conard, Vol. 3, p. 162.)

It is situated at Sec. 13, 14, 23 & 24, Twp. 57 N, R. 28 W at the junction of 13, Business 36 & CC.



Kerr is situated at Sec. 10, 11. Twp. 56 N, R. 29 W on D north from H.

The post-office was discontinued pre 1905.(--Taft, p. 14.)

Mail now via Cameron, De Kalb Co., no population.(--Rand, McNally, 1974.)

Kidder (elevation 1020 feet)

The town of Kidder is situated in the northeastern corner of Kidder Township, on Section 1, the plat extending across the line in Daviess County. The town site is really almost a mile square.

Prior to 1860 the only railroad station was at the residence of Hon. P. S. Kenney, a mile or more west of the present town site. Here was a post-office called Emmett, and a store, both presided over by Judge Kenney. Trains often stopped and passengers and freight were taken on and discharged. Mr. Kenney officiated as station agent.

Kidder was laid out August 3, 1860, by Geo. S. Harris for F. W. Hunnewell and Ed. L. Baker, trustees of the Kidder Land Company of Boston and named for H. P. Kidder. It is said that the first house was built a few weeks later, by a Mr. Richardson, but early in September, A. W. Reid, who was the local agent of the land company, built and opened a hotel called the Kidder House, and it is claimed that this was the first building of any kind, except the depot and that Mr. Rice was the first family in the place...

The railroad depot was built in August, 1860, soon after the laying out of the town, and the first railroad and express agent was James Beaumont. The post-office was removed from Kenney's and the name changed from Emmett to Kidder, about this time. It is claimed that Simeon Miller opened the first grocery store in the fall of 1860, but Charles Kennedy and James Drummond were the first general merchants.

The population of Kidder in 1886 was about 250. It had one large general store, a steam grist mill, shops, etc.

Kidder Institute, formely Thayer College, was located here.(--Caldwell Co., pp. 553, 554, 555. See, also, Campbell, p. 91.)

It is situated on the Daviess County line in the northwest corner of the county, at Sec. 1, Twp. 57 N, R. 29 W on Highway J.


What is now the east half of the town of Kingston including the public square, was entered by Abraham Couts, September 4, 1835. The west half was entered by Roswell Stevens, June 8, 1837. Mr. Couts had a cabin on the east side of his land, nearly half a mile east of the present court-house, and this building was torn down about 1840...


After the Mormons left the county Far West continued to be the county seat until the spring of 1843. Meantime the center of population of the county had been removed to somewhat the center of the county. It became very inconvenient for the large number of people living on lower Shoal Creek to go to the county seat and many complaints arose. At the August election, 1842, John Skidmore was chosen for Representative from the county, and it was demanded of him that he procure a removal of the county seat. So December 16, 1842, soon after the assembling of the Legislature, a bill was passed appointing commissioners to relocate the capital of Caldwell County.

It is said that three of the commissioners looked the county over and first selected the site on a tract of land where Kingston now is, but the owner of the land refused to donate over forty acres to the county, and so the commissioners went elsewhere and at last selected the site where it now is...

In the spring of 1843 the town was regularly laid off into lots and blocks...

The commissioners, upon request of a large number of citizens, named the town Kingston, in honor of Judge Austin A. King of Richmond...

The first house in Kingston was hauled from Far West, and was originally built by a Mormon. It was placed in position July 5, 1843, by Walter A. Doak...The first merchant in the place was a Mr. Baxter, who purchased Doak's home in August or September, 1843, and opened a store therein. In the fall of 1843, the first court-house, a log building, was built. (Mr. Doak was positive the first court-house was not built until 1844.)

No post-office was established in Kingston until 1844. Kingston was incorporated by an act of the Legislature, November 21, 1857, as a town.(--Caldwell Co., pp. 259, 260, 262. See, also, Campbell, p. 91, Conard, Vol. 5, p. 542.)

It is situated at Sec. 21, 22, 27, Twp. 56 N, R. 28 W at the junction of H & 13.

There is a Kingston in Washington County--see Bliss.(--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Haun's Mill

At Jacob Haun's mill, on the north bank of Shoal Creek, in the eastern part of the county, in what is now Fairview Township (NW. 1/4 NW 1/4 Section 17-56-26), were besides the mill, a blacksmith shop and half a dozen houses and perhaps 20 Mormon families. The mill was the site of a massacre of the Mormons, October 30, 1838.(--Caldwell Co., p. 145.)


Johnson's Mine

Johnson's Mine was three and a half miles southwest of Black Oak.(--Caldwell Co., p. 587.)

Marquand's Store

See Mirabile.

There is a Marquand in Madison County.(--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Marshall's Flour and Saw Mill

Marshall's flour and saw mill, two miles east of Catawba, on Shoal Creek, was a valuable institution to the community.(--Caldwell Co., p. 480.)


The site of the village of Mirabile (the SE. 1/4 of the W 1/4 of Sec. 34) was entered by John Gregg, November 9, 1836. He was a Mormon, and left the state with his brethren for Nauvoo in the spring of 1839. Not long after the Mormon exodus, Wm. E. Marquand (pronounced Marcum), who was an Indianian, visited the locality and it is said then purchased Gregg's land.

In 1848 or 1849 Mr. Marquand purchased a stock of goods and the log building in which they were exposed for sale at Far West and removed them to his land, and laid the foundation for the town of Mirabile...About the same time Mr. Marquand established a blacksmith shop in the southeastern part of the town and soon after an ox-mill, which ground both corn and wheat, and bolted the latter into good flour. Some years afterward he started a carding mill which he operated for some time.

For a time the locality was called "Marquand's Store," but after some years, a second store was opened by Joseph Hoard...Isaac Stout built the brick hotel, a tavern. Mr. Marquand had a town or a village laid out and platted, and named it Mirabile, from a Latin word signifying wonderful.

During the Civil War, Mirabile was headquarters for the Unionists in this section of the country.(--Caldwell Co., pp. 318, 319; Campbell, p. 91.)

It is situated at Sec. 34, Twp. 56 N, R. 29 W on D south from H.

Mail via Polo; population 20.(--Rand McNally, 1974.)



The town of Nettleton was the only one in Gomer Township. It is located in the eastern or northeastern portion of the township...and the town plat comprises all of Section 4 and 200 acres of Section 22 (off the southern part of the section).

Nettleton was laid out by Hunt, Godfrey & Co., of Hannibal in the year 1868...Both of these gentlemen were railroad men. The town was at first called Gomer, a Bible name (one of the sons of Joseph), and a Hebrew word signifying "finished" or "completed". In 1870 the name was changed by order of the county court to Nettleton, in honor of Geo. H. Nettleton, a former superintendent of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad on which the town was located. Mr. Nettleton was a well-known railroad man. Another station had been laid off in Marion County and called Nettleton, but that station "played out."

A railroad station was built at Nettleton in 1870. The same year a post-office was established and called Gomer. The postmaster was J. E. Hith, who was also a land agent for the railroad...

The village had one store in 1870. Its population in 1878 was about 50, and in 1886 was about 125. It had two general stores, a grain elevator, lumber yard and daily mail.(--Caldwell Co., p. 428; Campbell, p. 91.)

It is situated at Sec. 11, Twp. 57 N, R. 29 W on B east of Hamilton.

It is a rural branch of Hamilton Post Office.(--Rand McNally, 1974.)

New York

New York is situated at Sec. 3, 4, 9 & 10, Twp. 56 N, R. 27 W at the junction of V & B northeast of Kingston.

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

Osterville (Davis Township)

Osterville was located at Sec. 8, Twp. 55 N, R. 26 W.(--New Atlas of MO., Campbell, Map 17.)

This area is west of Braymer and north of 116.


The village or hamlet of Polo, the only (1886) village in Grant Township, had four stores, two churches, school-house, etc. Located at a crossing of two roads, it was a well-known and easily accessible locality. Its location is on the corner of Section 21, 22, 27 & 28. Isaac Webb built the first house on the corner in the fall of 1867. George Wilkinson built the second on the southeast corner, and the same spring the village was christened in honor of the town of the same name in Illinois.(--Caldwell Co., p. 617.)



It had 3 stores, 1 wagon and carriage manufactory and a flouring mill. Population about 50 (1874).(--Campbell, p. 91; Conard Vol. 5, p. 188.)

It is situated at Secs. 26 & 27, Twp. 55 N, R. 28 W at the junction of 13, & 116 near Ray County Line.


The village of Proctorville on the northeast corner of Sec. 14, Fairview Township was laid out by Daniel Proctor, in 1867. It contained a church, school house, store and shops, a good grist mill and saw mill, and a population of 75. The village was laid out March 22, 1869, and named for Hon. David Proctor, its founder.(--Caldwell Co., p. 480; Campbell, p. 91.)

It is situated at Sec. 11, Twp. 56 N, R. 26 W on A near Livingstone County Line.

Mail via Braymer; no population.(--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Prairie Ridge

Prairie Ridge was located at Sec. 23, Twp. 55 N, R. 29 W on 116 & D west of Polo. (It is no longer listed.)


In the fall of 1833 three Mormon brothers named Lyons, Jackson County fugitives, came to near the mouth of Log Creek, two miles southeast of Kingston, and made an improvement. They built a horse mill, which they operated for a year or two. A blacksmith shop came next, and then three or four families came to the locality, and the place took the form of a village and was called Salem from the old Hebrew word signifying peace. It is said that one time it was contemplated to call the village "Jeru"-"Salem" or the "foundation of peace", but eventually the prefix "Jeru" was dropped.

Salem was the first town--if it be proper to call it a town--in Caldwell County. It was never anything but a small hamlet, however. In 1834, while this was a portion of Ray County, there was a voting precinct established at Salem, and at the August election that year about twenty votes were cast...

A man named Sam'l Ritchie was a leading citizen of Salem, and one account says he was instrumental in the founding of the town...The statement has been published that at least one term of the Circuit Court was held at Salem, after the removal of the county seat from Far West, but this was a mistake. The courts were held at Far West until Kingston was laid out and a court house built, but never held at Salem.(--Caldwell Co., p. 125.)


Salem no longer is listed in Caldwell County; Salem is the county seat of Dent County.(--Rand McNally, 1974.)


Shoal was located at Sec. 18, Twp. 56 N, R. 27 W on the C. R. I. & P. R. R. south of U.

Shoal Creek no longer is listed in Caldwell County; Shoal Creek Drice is listed in Newton County.(--Rand McNally, 1974.)

Caldwell County Table of Contents

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