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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser



Barkley's was a station on the H. & ST. J. R. R. in Miller Township.
MARION CO., 636.

Barkley, named for the first settler, Levi Barkley, a station on the H. & ST. J. R. R., 5 miles south of Palmyra, and 10 miles northwest from Hannibal, was an important shipping point for stock and fruit.


Bear Creek was a station on the H. & ST. J. R. R. in Miller Township.
MARION CO., 636.

It was 5 miles west of Hannibal, and had 1 patent lime kiln, 1 cooper shop, 1 stone crusher and 1 lime quarry.

Bear Creek is no longer listed in Marion County; There is a Bear Creek in Cedar County.
STANDARD REF. GUIDE OF MO., 1974, Rand McNally.

It is so listed in NEW ATLAS OF MO., Campbell, 1874, Map 13.
BENBOW     Round GroveTownship
The little hamlet of Benbow stands on the northwest quarter of Section 13, Township 59-8. It was originally called MIDWAY. Its founder was Thomas Adams, who established a general store or trading post at the site about 1854. The name was changed with the establishment of the post-office in 1862. Prior to this the citizens all in the western part of the township had obtained mail matter at Emerson. The post-office department was dissatisfied with the loyalty or the political opinions of the postmaster, removed him and appointed a widow lady. The people in the vicinity of Midway concluded to ask for a post-office at Midway, the office to bear that name. When the petition was sent to the Post-Office Department, it was learned that there was already a post-office callee Midway in Missouri. Mr. Adams owned a farm on Section 2 (59-8) through which passed a branch of Troublesome Creek, which by reason of a peculiar crook in it had formerly been called Bent-bow, from its likeness in shape to a bended bow, but which name had been gradually contracted until it was pronounced "Ben'bow." It was concluded to recommend to the Post Master General to call the office Benbow, which he did, and that name it bears: today.

The village, in 1884, had two stores, a post-office and blacksmith shop.
755, 756.

It is 18 miles northwest from Palmyra, and had 1 public school, 2 churches--Methodist and Presbyterian, 2 stores and 1 wagon shop.



It is in the northwest corner of the county, near Lewis County line.
THE STATE OF MISSOURI IN 1904, Williams, 443.

It is situated on D east of N.
GENERAL HIGHWAY MAY OF MARION CO.. issued by The State Highway Department, 10-1-64. Unless otherwise noted, all map locations are from this map.

The post-office was discontinued in 1905.

Mail now is via Ewing, population 25.

Brockville was situated in Sec. 10, Twp. 58 N. R. 6 W in Fabius Township.
See Woodland.
Cherrydell was located in the northwest portion of the county, near Shelby County line.

The post-office was discontinued in 1905.
TAFT. 68.

Dumford was the first station south of West Quincy.
MAP OF MO., 1911, Rand McNally.

See West Ely.

Ely is on the B-N Railroad, 9 miles west of Palmyra.

It is on the Ralls County line, southwest of Palmyra.

ELY STATION     Warren Township
Ely Station, on the B-N R. R. (center of Section 36-57-7) is a small village. It had two good general stores, etc. In 1880 the population was 52.


It was a great advantage to the people of the neighborhood as a railroad station, for otherwise they would have been cempelled to resort to Palmyra or Monroe City to use the railroad.
MARION CO., 688.

It is situated in Sec. 36. Twp. 57 N, R. 7 W on V north from 36/24.

Mail is via Palmyra; population 30.

THE VILLAGE OF EMERSON     Round Grove Township
The Village of Emerson stands on the southeast corner of Section 20, in Township 59-7. It has long been known as a convenient trading post, post-office, etc. In 1884 it contained stores, shops, etc. The town was laid out January 26, 1837, and was first called Houston in honor of Gen. Sam Houston, the hero of the Texas War of Independence, then in progress.

The founders of the town were John Emerson, Younger P. True and Wm. Jones. The first house was moved in by John Emerson, who sold goods in it that winter. In 1838, Lewis Hawkins built a store, in which he sold goods for a few years.

Francis C. Turpin had a ,grocery store here in 1838, and the same year, the county court ordered that elections for Round Grove Township should be held "in the town of Houston." Some time after this the name was changed to Emerson, in honor of John Emerson, the first merchant.
MARION CO., 755; see also, CAMPBELL, 355.

It is situated on M east of N.

The post-office was discontinued in 1905.
TAFT, 67.

Mail now is via Maywood, Lewis Co.; population 40.

HANNIBAL     elevation 990 feet
The City of Hannibal is situated on the west bank of the Missiissippi River, in the southeastern corner of Marion County, on Sections 19, 20. 28, 29, 30, 31. 32 and 33; in Township 57, Range 4.

Just below the city, or at the southern border of the built-up portion (1884), is a huge bluff called "Lover's Leap."

Moses D. Bates, he who was chain bearer to the U. S. surveyor, .was one of the first settlers of Hannibal. In the fall of the year 1818, Mr. Bates came up from St. Louis to the mouth of Bear Creek, bringing with him at least two men, at least, one of whom, was Jonathan Fleming, a carpenter. They built a cabin near the present (1884) corner of Bird and Second Streets. It was a one-story double log cabin, well chinked and daubed.



In the early spring of 1819, Bates engaged with Thompson Bird and others to establish a town at the mouth of Bear Creek.

It is believed that Thompson Bird was of Cape Girardeau. His father, Abram Bird, held a New Madrid certificate calling for 640 acres of land in lieu of a similar sized tract of land in New Madrid County, which had been injured by the earthquake of 1811.

Immediately upon the location, the town was surveyed and regularly laid out by Moses D. Bates and called Hannibal, from the ancient name of Bear Creek, in all probab~lity.

Some time prior to 1832, the post-office was established, but the exact date cannot be determined. In 1832, Joseph Brasher was postmaster.

In 1846 and again in 1847, and even afterwards, it was seriously proposed to detach Hannibal from Marion County and annex it and a strip of territory along the southern boundary of the county to Ralls County.  Quite a feud raged between Palmyra and Hannibal. (see pages 275-325 for an account of the feud.)

The taverns, as the hotels were always called then, were kept in Hannibal by Joseph H. Brasher and Sam'l Allen.
MARION CO., 878, 879. 883, 887, 894, 902, 176.; see also CAMPBELL, 353, 354, 355, 356 & 357; CONARD, Vol. 3: 167, 168, 169.

It covers several sections in Township 57 N. Ranges 4 & 5. at the junction of M, N, 36, 79, AA & O.

Heather was located in the northwest portion of the county, near Shelby County line, six and three-quarters of a mile west of Philadephia.

It was situated in Sec. 8 & 9, Twp. 58 N, R. 8 W on 168.

The post-office wad discontinued in 1905.
TAFT, 68.

Helton is the first station north of Lamb on B-N Railroad.
MAP OF MO, 1925, Rand McNally.

It is situated in Sec. 35, Twp. 58 N, R. 5 W on 168 north of Mungers.

It has no population.


HESTER     Round Grove Township

A village called Hester was established in 1874, on Sec. 13, Twp. 59 N, R. 7, in the eastern part of the township. A post-office had been established for some years.
MARION CO., 756.

It was eight miles west, southwest of Quincy, (Ill.) and nine miles south of Palmyra.

It was on A north from M.

The post-office was discontinued in 1905.
TAFT, 67.

See Emerson.
Houston is the county seat of Texas County.
It was situated in Sec. 14, Twp. 58 N, R. 5 W at the junction of JJ & Spur JJ.
Lamb was the first station north of East Hannibal.
MAP OF MO., 1925, Rand McNally.
Mark was the first station north of North River.
MAP OF MO., 1917. Rand McNally.

It was situated in Sec. 23, Twp. 59, R. 3 W near the Mississippi River.

Marion City was a new town, begun to be built in April, 1836.  Bay Charles runs up into three principal branches, which would all form a natural circle. Across two of these the plat of the city extended. It reached along the Mississippi for a mile and a half, and had as good a landing place for a steamboat as any on the river. The population of the place was (in 1837) about three hundred. Thirty considerable houses, and two large saw-mills had been erected there in 1836. Most of the merchandise of Palmyra and Marion County was landed at this place. Three other large steam-mills were in progress there. To guard against the possibility of being disturbed by the highest freshets hitherto known along the river, the original proprietor of the town were building a levee which was to surround the town.


About the year 1829 Rev. David Nelson, a Presbyterian minister of distinction, emigrated from Kentucky to this county, and settled in what is now Union Township.

Not long after coming to this county, Dr. Nelson thought of erecting a college in this part of Missouri for the education of young men for the ministry.

Associated with Dr. Nelson in his plan of buildihg a college were Dr. David Clark, and William Muldrow, the latter one of the most remarkable men that ever lived in Missouri.

The college itself was called Marion College, and was located on Section 16, Township 58 North, Range 7 West. The college had no endowment. In lieu thereof a large farm was connected with the institution. Each student was to be assigned a certain number of acres, which he was required to cultivate in some saleable grain, vegetable, or other marketable produce, being required a certain number of hours each day, for labor and another number for study and recitation.

The plan appeared to be feasible and benevolent, and the people of Marion County were elated at the prospect of having a real college. The college opened its first session with but few students and Marion College assumed all the airs of Yale and Harvard, if not Oxford and Cambridge.

In 1836 a large tract of land was entered by the trustees of Marion College, with funds which had been raised in the East, on which to erect a preparatory department to qualify the students to enter the College proper, or "Upper" College as it was called. The preparatory of "Lower College tract was located about twelve miles southeast of the "Upper" College, and six miles southwest of Palmyra. Dr. Ely was placed in charge of the "Lower" College.

The college ran into difficulties, and in 1842 a judgement was obtained, and the property sold at great sacrifice. Meanwhile, while engrossed in the establishment of Marion College, the prolific mind of Mr. Muldrow had conceived another important scheme. This was the founding in Marion County of another town which he contemplated would be a metropolis, not only of Missouri, but of the West.

The site selected by Mr. Muldrow for his city was on Section 13, Township 58, Range 5, right on the banks of the Mississippi. Here, some years previously, a Dr. Green had established a steam-boat landing which was known as Green's landing.

Mr. Muldrow went into partnership with Dr. James Gallaher, and the proprietors proceeded at once to lay off a splendid city which they called Marion City. The plat was drawn up on an extensive scale. There were lots, various blocks, sites for churche, a female seminary, an opera house, etc. all on paper!

Meanwhile Dr. Ely, John McKee and others, some from other states, had been busy. Ely and McKee spent several thousands of dollars to promote the project. Active preparations now were made for the sending out of another embassy to the East to dispose of town lots to speculators.

So well did Mr. Muldrow execute his mission that he sold lots in Marion City, frog-pond as it was, to the amount of one hundred thousand dollars. He did not, however, receive all of this in cash. Many of the purchasers in Marion City executed their notes, payable only when certain improvements were made.

In the spring of 1836 Marion City began to improve very much. But on the opening of navigation that spring steamboat after steamboat arrived at Marion City, freighted with the emigrants and their effects. Many brought with them temporary dwelling houses in sections and suitable for putting together.

But many were disappointed. They had come all that way from Pennsylvania. When they learned that cholera had been here only the day before, they were not reassured and a few packed up and went home to Pennsylvania. The Mississippi flooded the area; at last the city was flooded. (Efforts were made to revive the city but they failed.)

When Charles Dickens visited this country, a few years afterward the story of Marion City was told him, and it is said that in "Martin Chuzzlewit" the description of 'Eden' was written from the pictures given him of Mr. Muldrow's town. Chapter 23 of "Martin Chuzzlewit" deals with Mr. Dickens' description of 'Eden', nee Marion City.
MARION CO. 226, 227, 228, 229, 233, 234, 235, 238, 239, 240, 241, 244.

At that time the maps represented the Great American Desert as approaching near the Missouri River. Government reports authorized this assumption. On that basis, Muldrow considered that the great cities of the valley must be on the Mississippi instead of the Missouri.
CONARD, Vol. 4, 226, 227,

See Benbow.

There are Midways in Boone Co., Newton Co., and Putnam Co.

Moody was located in the northeast corner of the county.
MAP OF MO., 1903, Geo. P. Cram.

Moody is no longer listed in Marion Co.; there is a Moody in Howell Co.



Mungers was situated on Sec. 6, Twp. 57 N, R. 5 W on 168 north from 61.

Mungers is no longer listed in Marion Co., Munger is listed in Reynolds Co.

Naomi was 16 miles northwest of Palmyra and had recently been laid out.

It was near Lewis County line.

The post-office was discontinued in 1905.
TAFT, 67.

Nelsonville was a post-office 23 miles west northwest of Palmyra and is near the northwest corner of the county.

It is in the northwest corner of the county near Lewis Co. line.

It is situated on Sec. 9, Twp. 59 N. R. 8 V on D east of Shelby Co. line.

Mail is via Ewing, Lewis Co., population 30.

See Woodland.

There is a Nettleton in Caldwell Co.

NEW MARKET     Warren Township
New Market was located on the southwest quarter of Section 6, 57-7, on the South Fork of North River, about 13 miles south of west of Palmyra, and one mile south of Warren.
MARION CO., 688.

It was twelve miles west of Palmyra and had one store, one wagon shop, and one hotel. The place was laid out November 24th, 1836, by Messrs. Hawkins and Busch.

There is a New Market in Platte Co.


NORTH RIVER     Fabius Township

North River was located on the Hannibal & St. Joseph R. R. at the crossing of the North River. There were station houses here and not much else.
MARION CO., 782.

It was a post-office in the forks of North River, nine miles southwest of Palmyra.

This section of country was known as "Turkey Shin," because wild turkeys abounded, and regular hunting excursions were made thither by the early inhabitants.

It was a station on the H. & St. J. R. R., nine miles from Quincy (Ill.), and five miles north northeast of Palmyra.
Oakwood is in the southeast corner of the county near Ralls Couny line.

It is a part of Hannibal

PALMYRA     elevation 603 feet
The City of Palmyra, the county seat or capital of Marion County, is situated on portions of Sections 23, 24, 25 and 26, in Township 58, Range 6. It is seven miles due west of the Mississippi River, the same distance from the southern boundary of the county, ten miles from the northern boundary, and sixteen from the western.

In November, 1818, Benjamin Vanlandingham came from Kentucky to what is now Marion County. Benjamin noticed a big spring, now in Palmyra. On August 10, 1819, the town wa regularly laid out.

The founders of Palmyra hesitated some time before they christened the place. It was proposed to call it Springfield from the big spring, and a little field. But someone with classical turn suggested Palmyra, in honor of the famous city in Syria, the Tadmer of the Scriptures, built by King Solomon "in the wilderness." At one time ancient Palmyra was a magnificent city, presided over by the splendid Empress Zenobia, "the Queen of the East;" now it is a magnificent ruin.

First Incorporation of Palmyra: At the August term of the county court, 1830, the town of Palmyra was incorporated. The boundaries of the town were declared in accordance with the original plat filed in the office of the county clerk of Pike County,



and two additional plats filed in this county.

The taverns, as the hotels were always called then were kept in Palmyra by A. K. frye, Daniel Gentry, and Benj. Means.
MARION CO., 825, 826, 829, 176, 177.

During the Civil War a skirmish occurred at Palmyra between Col. Porter's forces, (Confederates) and about 80 Federal troops with Capt. H. Duback, in which citizens fell and others were wounded.
CAMPBELL, 357; see, also, CONARD, Vol. 5, 45, 46.

The town grew rapidly, and in 1820 had 150 inhabitants.

In 1821 the first post-office was established, the mail coming, when it did come, from St. Louis, on horseback by way of New London.

Obadiah Dickinson was the first postmaster. He kept the office in his hat. Being frequently absent from home, in the woods or hunting, or attending some public gathering of the settlers, the few letters constituting "the mail" were deposited under the lining of his huge bell-crowned hat, often made a receptacle for papers, documents, handkerchifs, etc. by gentlemen of the olden times. Asked why he carried the office about with him in this manner, the old major replied, "So that if I meet a man who has a letter belonging to him, sir! I meet more men when I travel about than come to the office when I stay at home."

On one occasion a man from a frontier settlement came to Palmyra for tbe mail for himself and neighbors. Both post-office and postmaster were away from home. Going in pursuit, as it were, he found them over on North River. Maj. Dickersen looked over the contents of his office, selected half a dozen letters for the settler and his neighbors. And then handing two more, said, "Take these along with you and see if they belong to anyone out in your settlement. They have been here two weeks and no owner has called for them yet. I don't know any such men, and I don't want to be bothered with them any longer."

As the mail at Palmyra office increased, the major petitioned the Department for a new and larger hat.
HIST. OF SHELBY COUNTY, 1884, St. Louis, National Hist. Co.,630, 631.

NOTE. The major's name has been spelled Dickenson and Dickerson in the several histories of this area.

PHILADELPHIA     Union Township
The village of Philadelphia is located on the northeast corner of Section 12, Township 58, Range 8.

The town was laid out by Col. William Muldrow and his associates in 1830, during the excitement and enthusiasm consequent upon the inauguration of the Colonel's magnificent scheme.

It is said that Col. Muldrow built the first house, or that



he and a Dr. Clark did. It has been learned from the county records, however, that Robert M. Eubanks had a tavern here in 1838. M. M. Proctor had a "grocery" the same year, and also in 1840.

Ewing & Bryant were also grocery keepes here in 1846.
MARION CO., 725, 726.

It was laid out December 19, 1835, and had one Union Church, one public school, three stores and several shops.

It is located in the western portion of the county, 20 3/4 miles west of Palmyra.
WILLIAMS, 443; see, also, CONARD, Vol. 5, 113, 114.

It is situated on Section 12, Twp. 58 N, R. 8 W at the June­tion of N & 168.

NOTE:  It should be borne in mind that a license to keep a grocery (in the very early days) meant a license to sell liquors. It was the first business of some pioneer towns.
HIST. OF CLARK CO., 1887, Goodspeed9 343.

SHARPSBURG     Warren Township
Sharpsburg was situated on the center of Section 2-57-8, andd about three miles northeast of Monroe, and was the leading village of Warren Township, but the building up of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad,and the laying out of Monroe City, killed it "dead as a door nail" and it has dwindled into insignificance.
MARION CO., 688; see, also, CAMPBELL, 357.
South River is situated on Sec. 1O, Twp. 58 N, R 5 W on B-N Railroad.

It has no population.

Smileyville was north of Palmyra.

It was situated on Sec. 33, Twp. 59 N, R. 6 lv on an unmarked county road west of 61.

Springdale, on the M. K. & T. Railroad, eight miles west of Hannibal, was a newly laid off town.


See North River,
WARREN     Warren Township
The village of Warren stands on the southeast corner of Section 35-58-8. It was laid out in 1854. The first house was built by George Edelin and Wilson McElroy for a store, post­office, etc.
MARION CO., 688.

It was laid out in 1849 and contained one church, one public school, one store and several shops.

It is located in the southwest portion of the county.

It is situated at the Junction of DD & C.

Mail is via Monroe City, population 25.

In 1836, with the establishment of the preparatory or the Lower College, as it was called which was connected with Marion College, the village or hamlet of West Ely was established. Rev. Dr. Stiles Ely was its founder and in his honor it was named. The village at first was called Ely. How the prefix came to be attached cannot here be stated. It was called West Ely according to the county records, as early as 1839. The village stands on the east side of the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 27. Among the first settlers in and about West Ely, including some who were connected with the college were Rev. W. P. Cochrane; Rev. Dr. Ely from Pennsylvania, and Rev. Allan Gallaher, from Tennessee.

In 1884 West Ely was little else than a trading point with two stores, churches, etc.
MARION CO., 663., 664. See also, CAMPBELL, 357.

It is situated on Sec. 27, Twp. 57 N, R. 6 W north from 24/36.

Mail is via Hannibal--rural; no population.

WEST QUINCY     Fabius Township
In the year 1828, a ferry was established across the Mississippi, and in 1829 Willard Keyes obtained a license from the Marion County Court to land this ferry on the Missouri side and to operate it regularly. Mr. Keyes lived in Quincy, and was one of the first county commissioners of Adams County, Ill. This was the first ferry across the Mississippi north of Louisiana. The landing on this side was the origin of West Quincy.


The first house in the village of West Quincy was built by a Mr. Patterson, in 1848. It was washed away in the flood of 1851. The first store-house was built by Capt,Taylor and Isaac Stephens sold goods in it many years.

The town is laid out in the center of Section 3, Township 59, Range 5. The town was regularly laid out January 28, 1874. For a time during the Civil War, and before the building of the railroad bridge, the place was the terminus of a stage line from Keokuk, Iowa. Only a few houses were ever here at any time, however. The city of Quincy, Illinois just opposite, has forbidden any town of considerable size, even if the site were not below high water mark. The floods of the Mississippi injure the village not a little, flowing through it, and over it and around it sometimes unrestrained.
MARION CO., 781.

It had one lumberyard, one flouring mill and a wagon depot.

It is located on Highway 24, west of the Mississippi River.

Mail is via Taylor--rural; no population.

White Bear was the first station south of Wither's Mill.
MAP OF MO., 1925, Rand McNlally.
Whiteledge was located in the southeast corner of the county near Ralls County line.

The post-office was discontinued in 1905.
TAFT, 67.

There was a station house at Wither's Mill which also contained a post-office, a general store, half a dozen dwelling houses, etc. It was irregularly laid out, and while it was a trading point of considerable advantage to the people, it did not expect to ever become a place of much importance. The location of Wither's Mill was on the northeast corner of Section 22. Formerly John Withers had a mill on Bear Creek, at the location of the hamlet, but it was burned some years since 1884. The mill was built by Mr. Withers in 1855, but the station house was not erected until about 1867


It is situated on Sec. 20, 29. Twp. 57 N, R. 5 W on an extension of KK south of 61.

Mail is via Palmyra and Hannibal; population 25.

WOODLAND     Liberty Township
The village or station of Woodland, on the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad (center of Section 8, Township 57. Range 8) in the southwestern corner of the township near the line of South River, had a post-office and a station house. On nearly the grounds a station called Nettleton, in honor of Geo. H. Nettleton, Esq. of the H. & St. J..R. R., was established. In 1884 Mr. Nettleton was superintendent of the Kansas City, Springfield and Memphis Railroad (K. C., FT. S, & M.), and had another station and village named for him on that road in Oregon County.

Woodland (Caldwell), on the H. & ST. J. R. R., 5 miles south of Palmyra, had one store, one school-house and a Baptist Church.

Mail is via Palmyra--rural; no population.

Highway K runs through this section.

It is so designated in NEW ATLAS,  Map 13.

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