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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser

Taney County


The first settlements were made on White River, in 1826-27, by Elijah McAdoo, three members of the Denton family, and two brothers, Jacob and Solomon Youchouim; the two latter named are believed by some to be descendants of one Yocum who located at the confluence of White and James Rivers, in Stone County, in 1790. In 1830-31, James Oliver, Barnes, Nuchinn and Edwards located in the county; and in 1832 came Jesse Jennings, who was a member of the Legislature for several terms, and sheriff and a county justice.

The county was created January 6, 1837, and was named for Chief Justice Taney of the United States Supreme Court. Forsythe, (also spelled, preferably, Forsyth) is the seat of justice. The county records were destroyed by fire in 1885. (--Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, Howard L. Conrad. Vol. 6, p. 152. Also, see Gazetteer of Missouri, Campbell, 1874, p. 617.)

It was organized January 6, 1837. It was named in honor of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, of Maryland, of the (U. S.) Supreme Court, who in 1856, delivered the celebrated opinion in the Dred Scott case. Died, October 12, 1864. (--How Missouri Counties Towns, Streams Were Named, by David W. Eaton, Fifth Article, p. 69.)


Forsyth, County Seat of Taney County, laid out in 1836, and named for Hon. John Forsyth, of Georgia, Secretary of State, 1834-41. Selected as county seat by George M. Gibson, of Barry; John Mooney, of Polk, and Thomas Horn, of Greene. (--How Missouri Counties, Towns, Streams Were Named, by David W. Eaton, Fifth Article, p. 69.)


The White River Railway Company

The White River Railway wa incorporated under the general railroad laws of Arkansas on February 8, 1901. The company was organized and its capital stock owned by the St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway, which company purchased the property franchises by deed dated Jan. 31, 1903. The money involved in the purchase of this line and its construction was provided for by the sale of bonds.

The project called for the construction of a 250 mile railroad between Batesville, Arkansas and Carthage, Missouri, substantially parallel to the White River for a considerable part of this distance. Batesville, (and in fact the Manganeze Development at Cushman, 11 miles northwest of Batesville) was already reached by a branch of the Iron Mountain Railroad opened in 1886. Carthage, county seat of Jasper County, Missouri, is 17 miles north of Joplin on a line already in existence between Joplin and Kansas City.

The railroad between Carthage and Batesville was difficult and expensive to construct because of the very rough country. This is the most rugged part of the Ozarks, where rock was close to the surface, and the hills steep and relatively inaccessible. The railroad track construction involved the building of many long and high trestles, some of which were 125 feet high and half a mile long, and five tunnels, the longest one being 3,544 feet long.

Work on the White River Railway was started in 1901 and sections of the line were completed at various times in the following six years. The 42 miles between the junction near Batesville and Mt. Olive were completed on January 1, 1903; 40 miles between Mt. Olive and Buffalo completed July 1, 1903; Buffalo to Cotter, 12 miles, completed August 8, 1903; Carthage to Aurora, 39 miles, completed July 1, 1904; Aurora to Reed's Spring, 31 miles, completed December 31, 1904; Yellville to Bergman, 23 miles, completed December 31, 1904; Reed's Spring to Bergman, 43 miles, completed January 21, 1906. (--Public Relations Department, Missouri Pacific Railroad 210 N. 13th Street, St. Louis, Mo., 63103.)

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