kclogo2.jpg (24832 bytes)


Previous Owners
Plat Maps
Area Maps

Caldwell County
1876 Atlas History
1876 Atlas People
1897 Atlas People
WPA Interviews

Chronological Events




History of Caldwell County, Missouri
As written in the 1876 Atlas of Caldwell County Missouri


When 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.

In 1866, 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.

The most 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.


The 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.

In 1867, 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.

As its 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.

The 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.


The survey 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 than Breckenridge.

The school-house is a magnificent building, well adapted to the purposes of its creation. Its cost was about $16,000. Five teachers are employed.


On 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 descendants.

In process 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.

Kidder is 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.


In 1849, 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.


In 1867 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.


This town 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.


In 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.


This town has about 50 inhabitants, and is in the centre of a fertile section of Fairview.

Black Oak

Has 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

Territorial History
First Settlers
County Organized
Mormon Emigration
Far West
The Mormons
Mormon Settlements
Mormon Leaders
The Temple
Mormon War
Mormon Exodus
Change of County Seat
Salem, Missouri
Mexican War
California Emigration
Kansas Troubles
Burning of Records
The Rebellion
Thrailkill's Raid
Since the War
Soil & Products
County Indebtedness
Township Organization
Black Oak






























































































Questions, comments or suggestions?   Please send us feedback! 
E-mail us at kingscrossfarm@geocities.com

All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998