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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser

Saline County


Saline County was created by act of the territorial Legislature, approved November 25, 1820, but the boundaries were much more extensive than at the present (1910) time, extending as far south as the Osage River, by this act ... (--History of Saline Co., 1910, Newton, p. 37.)

Prior to 1820 this county, and indeed a very large expanse of country and territory adjoining, belonged to Cooper County. The land now comprising Saline was then divided into three townships, Arrow Rock, Miami and Jefferson. These townships retained their names and their boundaries upon the organization of the new county ...

At the first session of the Missouri State Legislature, begun in St. Louis, September 19, 1820, an act was passed organizing, among others, "The County of Saline." The bill, it was believed, was introduced by Hon. William Lillanthen a member of the legislature, from Cooper County ... It passed without opposition, and was approved by the Governor Alexander McNair, the first elected governor of the State, November 15, 1820 ...

By the terms of the act of organization "the town of Jefferson, in said county," was made the county seat ...

In 1831, the county seat was removed from Jefferson to Jonesboro ...

In 1839, the county seat was removed from Jonesboro to Arrow Rock, and from thence to Marshall ... February 5, of that year, the legislature passed an act authorizing the removal of the county seat from Jonesboro to the center of the county, or as near thereto as practicable ...

The judge of the court ordered an election to be held August 5th, for the purpose of allowing the voters of the county to vote for and select a temporary seat of government for the county. Three towns were contestants for the honor -- Arrow Rock, Centre and Greenville (Miami.) ...

Early in 1874 an effort was made to organize a new county, to be called Brown County, out of Saline, Pettis, Johnson and Lafayette; a bill to this effect was introduced in the legislature, but was defeated.

In the early part of October, the Chicago & Alton Railroad was completed to Marshall, the first in the place.

The first settlers were the overflow from Howard County, who located upon the river on the eastern boundary. They were mostly Kentuckians and Tennesseeans, with a few Virginians and Carolinians ... (--Hist. of Saline Co., 1881, pp. 190, 193, 210, 226, 384, 387, 475.)

Prior to 1820, what is now Saline County was a portion of Cooper County. It was created by act of the General Assembly November 25, 1820, and was named for the many salt springs it contained. Its original territory comprised portions of the present counties of Benton and Pettis ... (--Ency. of the Hist. of Mo., 1901, Conrad, Vol. 5, pp. 475, 476.)

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