Caldwell County, Missouri
As written in the 1876 Atlas
of Caldwell County Missouri
the act of 1842 was passed authorizing the change of the County-seat, James Ramsey and
Samuel Hill, who were then owners of the land, donated to the County one hundred and sixty
acres of land for a town site. The Coun ty Court caused the land to be laid off in town
lots which were sold at public auction and the proceeds applied to the erection of public
buildings. In 1843, a log court-house was constructed, where now stands the office of Dunn
and Johnson, and the dwelling of Au. Mack was opened as a hotel.. A store was opened by
Jo. C. Hord, south of the square. On July 3d, 1843, Major Higgins, Hiram Belding, and Abel
Leonard, raised the first liberty pole, and on the 4th the Major ran up the Stars and
Stripes. On this day there was a great barbecue and celebration, Chas. J. Hughes
being the orator of the day. In 1847, a two story brick court-house was built just in
front of the present one, and continued to be the temple of justice until its destruction
by fire in 1860.
Mr. Joshua Boncher made an addition to the south side of the town, and in 1807, George
Young made another addition to the east side.
notable buildings are the court-house, jail, Odd Fellows Hall,. and school house. The
school-house cost $10,000, and is a large two story building.
original town of Hamilton was laid out on thc S.W. qr., of sec. 13, township 57 range 28.
That tract was purchased of the United States by Edwd. M. Samuel in 1855. On the 3d of
February, 1855, Samuel. conveyed said tract of land to Albert G. Davis as trustee of the
Hamilton Town Company, which company was composed of the followino gentlemen, viz.:
Michael Arthur, Greenup Bird, John Berry, Simpson McGaughy, Stephen Ritchey, Ed. M.
Samuel, .Iohn H. Ardinger, Albert G. Davis, Chas. J. Hughes, John H. Burrows, Thos. T.
Frame and Eph. B. Ewing. By the terms of the deed Mr. Davis was authorized to lay out a
town on the land, and was authorized to execute to the purchasers deeds for any lots which
he should sell. The profits of the sales were to he divided equally among the members of
the company. In 1856, the town was laid out and plat filed by Mr. Davis, but for a time
the town made but little progress. From 1856 to 1858, it had but three families. In 1859,
the H. & St. Jo. Railroad reached there and infused some life into it. During that
year the growth of the town and increase in value of property induced Mr. Samuel Hill to
lay off thc N.E. qr. of S.Ld. qr. of sec. 24, in town lots. Mr. Hill's addition was named
Hillsboro. During the year 1860 the population of the town increased considerably, but the
war checked its growth.
On the 4th
of December, 1865, the Countv Court, on the application of some members ot the town
company, appointed Thomas W. Higgins as trustee in the room of Mr. Davis. The town
continued to grow rapidly after the war.
the H. & St. Jo. Railroad Company made an addition to the town known as the Railroad
Addition. In 1868, Samuel's addition was platted, and 1869 Miller's Addition, The town and
its addition, included about two sections of land.
population and business increased, the necessity for an efticient city government became
apparent, and so, on the 3d day of August 1868, a petition was presented to County Court
asking that body to declare the town a corperation under the laws of the State; and the
petition being reasonable the court made an order declaring the town incorporated.
Messrs. Geo. S. Lamson, Anthony Rohrbough, F.P, Low, J.N. Morton and Wm. Partin were· the
first trustees. During their administration a code of by-laws were matured which have
secured to the town order, healtiness and safety.
school-house is one of the best in this portion of the state, having cost, in its
construction ahout 515,000. The school employ five teachers.
and l.ocation of thc H. & St. .Jo. R.R. across the face of our County induced the
formation of the Breckenridge Town Company. It was composed of the following members:
Henry Gist, James A. Price, Jerome B. Terrill, and Levi Wardlow. They chose the present
location of Breckenridge for the site of their new town. The land was owned by Henry Gist
and pursuant to an understanding between them Gist on the l3th day of October, 1856,
conveyed the land to James A Price, who was constituted trustee and chief business manager
of the compary. Gist's deed provided that the land should be· platted, and when lots were
sold the profits were to be divided amongst the proprieters. Wardlow shortly afterwards
sold his interest in the town to Price. For some time the growth of the town was slow, but
when the actual construction of the railroad was begun, and laborers began to pour in from
all quarters, it acquired new vigor and entered on a career of prosperity that has made it
the second town in the County in population and wealth. With its increase of
population came the necessity of an increase in territory. Concequently, in 1859, an
addition was made to the town on the north and west sides by Messrs. Gist and Price,
afterwards Messrs. Geo. W. Murphy and John C. Pierce made their addition to the town.
These additions were followed by additions made by Messrs. Pease, Read, and Plumb, and
known as the First, Second and Third Wiscons in addition.
On the 9th
day of March, 1869, a petition was presented to the County Court asking an incorportation
of the town under the name of Breckenridge. The prayer of the petitioners was granted and
the town incorporated. The first trustees of the town were Messrs. J.W. Plumb, Sam Rvssel,
Frank Ward, Henry Hayden, and Joseph D. Thompson. Under the management of the new city
government, the disturbances created on one or two occasions by rowdies from the Grand
River bottoms ceased, and today there is not a more orderly and quiet burgh in the State
school-house is a magnificent building, well adapted to the purposes of its creation. Its
cost was about $16,000. Five teachers are employed.
the 3d day of August 1850, Henry P. Kidder and Ed. L. Baker, trustees of the Kidder Land
Company, laid out the town of Kidder on the line between Caidwell and Daviess Counties.
Although a part of the town as platted is in Daviess County, yet as almost all of its
population are within this County, it is essentially a Caldwell town. The population of
the town is about 400--the greater part of its inhabitants being New Englanders or their
of time it was discovered that Kidder was growing too rapidl.y to be confined within the
bounds of the origina plat, so the New England Land Company through its trustees Hunnewell
and Baker made an addition to the town, which was followed by Miller's addition to Kidder.
the seat of Thayer College, a beautiful four story brick building, 40 x 80 feet, under the
charge and patron age of the Congregational church.
William E. Marquam, who was then owner of S.E. qr., S.W. qr., sec 34, Township 56, Range
29, laid out theron the town of Mirable. Its growth was slow but steady. Its population
numbers about 200. It has several energetic business men, and probably enjoys as large
trade in proportion to its size as any town in the state.
the town of Proctorville was laid out by Daniel Proctor. It has a population of about 150,
and is surrounded by one of the best agricultural sections in the state. Its growth has
been steady and its future is hopeful.
is located on a high rolling prairie in Grant Township--the site being surrounded on all
sides by rich and fertile farms under a good state of cultivation and improvement. It
contains a populalion of about 150 persons. The town has no plat. In 1871 James M. Stone
sold to Oliver Farrabee a tract of about one acre on the west side of the road, on which
Mr. Farrabee built a store-house. Afterwards L.L. Majors built a wagon and blacksmith shop
on the opposite side of the road. Thus the foundation of Polo was laid. The town, through
the energy and tact of its business men, has built up a good trade and notwithstanding the
stringency of money and general stagnation in business has been prosperous.
1868, Hunt, Godfrey & Co. l.aid out the town of Gomer half way between Hami.lton and
Breckenridge. By or der of court, the name of the Cown was changed to the longer, but more
euphonious name of Nettleton. It has about 50 inhabitants, and enjoys a thrifty trade.
town has about 50 inhabitants, and is in the centre of a fertile section of Fairview.
several stores and a population of about 80. It is in a fertile region, and bids fair to
grow into a large and enterprising town.
Crosby Johnson, An Illustrated Historical Atlas of Caldwell County, Missouri.
1876. Edwards Brothers
Change of County Seat
Burning of Records
Since the War
Soil & Products