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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser

Laclede County

The County of Laclede was organized in accordance with an act of the General Assembly, entitled "An Act to Organize the County of Laclede."

Section 1. All that portion of territory comprised within the following limits shall be organized into a separate and distinct county, for all civil and military purposes, except representation, and the territory now belonging to the counties of Pulaski, Wright and Camden is hereby attached back to such county for representation:

Beginning at the northeast corner of Dallas County, thence east with the line dividing Township2 36 and 37, to the top of the ridge dividing the waters of the Dry Auglaize from the Wet Auglaize; thence south and east on the middle of said ridge, separating the waters of Wet Auglaize from Bear Creek until it strikes the range line dividing Ranges 13 and 14; thence southon said range line to the township line dividing Townships 34 and 35; thence seon a straight line to the middle of Range 12; thence south to the corner of Wright County; thence west with said line to the range line separating Ranges 17 and 18; thence noth with said range line to the place of beginning. The territory thus organized shall as soon as it is entitled constitutionally to a separate representation, have it.

Section 2. Thomas Whitacre, of Miller County, John Duncan, Sr., of Pulaski County, and Washington Henson, of Dallas, are hereby appointed commissioners to locate the seat of justice of said county; it shall be the duty of these commissioners to meet at the house of L. Murphy, as soon as they can conveniently do so, and proceed with the selection of such site...

Section 4. The courts of said county shall be held at the house of L. Murphy (about two miles east of the present site of Lebanon), until the seat of justice shall be established by law.

Section 5. The several assessors of the Counties of Pulaski, Wright and Camden, shall deliver to the county court so much of their respective books as applies to the taxable inhabitants of the County of Laclede, and take a receipt for the same; such a receipt shall be a sufficient discharge from all responsibility incurred thereby.

This act to take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

Approved February 24, 1849. (--State of Missouri, History of Laclede County, Goodspeed Bros., 1889, pp. 30 & 31.)


When Pulaski County was formed, its limits included all of the territory now embraced in Laclede County. Later Wright and Camden Counties were created, and out of portions of Pulaski, Wright and Camden Counties, Laclede County was organized by Legislative Act, approved February 24, 1849, and was named in honor of Pierre Liguest Laclede, the founder of the City of St. Louis. (--Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, Howard L. Conrad, Vol. 3, p. 569.)

Laclede County was settled mostly by emigrants from Tennessee, although, as in most parts of Missouri, Kentucky was soon represented; and there were also a few settlers from Indiana, Illinois, and some families from the Eastern States, who came early into the territory which forms this county. At the time of its first settlement it was a part of Pulaski, but was organized as a separate county, February 24, 1849, when it received its name in honor of Pierre Laclede Liguest, the founder of St. Louis. (--A Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874, Campbell, p. 295.)

Laclede County forms one of the twenty-six counties designated "Southwest Missouri".

Jesse Ballew is believed to have been the first white settler who erected his log cabin in the bounds of Laclede County. In the spring of 1820, he settled on the east side of the Gasconade River, where the Indians crossed that stream.

The County of Laclede was organized February 24, 1849. (--State of Missouri, History of Laclede County, Goodspeed Bros., 1889, pp 13, 21, 30-31.)

Laclede County was organized February 24, 1849, and named in honor of the founder of St. Louis, while Lebanon, the county seat, was suggested by a town of that name in Tennessee, from which a number of the pioneers came. (--A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region, 1894, Goodspeed Bros., Publishers, p. 25.)


There seems to be a difference of opinion regarding the proper usage of the name of the founder of St. Louis, who is referred to in this directory.

As it is difficult at this time to determine the correct terminology, it was decided to use both versions.

Pierre Laclede Liguest, Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 417.

Pierre Laclede Liguest, New Atlas of Missouri, p. 70.

The founder of St. Louis, whose full name was Pierre Liguest Laclede. (--Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, Vol. 3, p. 567.)


Anna O'Brien submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Graduate School of the University of Missouri, 1939.

Place Names of Five Central Southern Counties of Missouri.

Anna O'Brien, B. S. in ed., M.A. Thesis.

Much credit is due to Miss O'Brien and her Thesis, without whose help much of the information in the following Directory would not have been obtained.

My humble thanks to Miss O'Brien, for her Thesis, which represents many hours of hard work. (Referred to as Place Names.)

The Compiler.

Note: This Thesis is on Micro-film at the Springfield-Greene County Library.

Laclede County Table of Contents
Local History Home

 Springfield-Greene County Library