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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser

Reynolds County

Reynolds County was organized out of Washington County, February 25, 1845. Henry Fry, who is said to have come from Kentucky in 1812, was the pioneer of the Middle Fork of Black River. The Henry's, Logan's, and Hyatt's came in soon after. Centerville, the county seat, Lesterville, Logan's Creek and West Fork are old settlements. The Postal villages are:

Alamode, Tainter, Warren's Store, Bee Fork, Black, Clones, Centerville, Munger, Oates, Redford and West Fork. (--A Reminiscent Hist. of the Ozark Region, 1894, Goodspeed, p. 28.)

The first settlement in the section now comprising Reynolds County was made in 1812 by Henry Fry, a Kentuckian, who settled near the mouth of Three Forks, and some years later, Seth Hyatt and James Logan settled on Logan's Creek. Nearly all the early settlers were fox hunters, and gave little attention to farming, growing only sufficient "garden truck" for their individual needs. This section was slowly settled. Until 1830 it was part of Ripley County, then it was attached to Washington, later to Shannon, and was organized as Reynolds County by legislative act, approved February 24, 1845. It was named in honor of Governor Thomas Reynolds, of Missouri. As its boundaries were defined it included a portion of what is now Iron County, and was reduced to its present limits in 1857 when that county was formed. The General Assembly appointed Ayres Hudspeth, of Washington County; John Miller, of Madison County; and Moses Carty, of St. Francois County, commissioners to locate a permanent seat of justice, and the act designated that until otherwise provided the courts be first term of the county court was held in November, 1845, with H. Allen, presiding judge; Marvin Munger, sheriff, and C. C. Campbell, clerk. The courthouse at Lesterville was burned during the (Civil) War. Then the county seat was changed to Centerville, where another small court house was built. This was burned in 1872, and the same year the present (1901) court house was built at a cost of $8,000. (--Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, 1901, Conard, Vol. 5, p. 340.)

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