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Fanning's Illustrated Gazetteer of the United States

State, Territories, Counties, Cities, Towns & Post Offices


Transcribed by Jeana Gallagher and Sandy Stutzman
for the exclusive use of Genealogy Trails

PT is post town; PV is post village; PO is post office, PB is post borough, CH is court house, T is town


One of the United States, which embraces a part of Upper Louisiana, as held by the French prior to 1763, when it was ceded to Spain, together with all her North American territory.  It is situated between 36°30' and 40°30' north latitude, and 89°20' and 96° west longitude from Greenwich; and is bounded north by Iowa, east by Illinois and Kentucky, from which it is separated by the Mississippi, and south by Arkansas and west by Arkansas, the Indian Territory, and Nebraska, from a part of the letter of which it is separated by the river Missouri, whence it derives its name.  Its Superficial area is 67,380 square miles.

Physical Aspect-- This state presents a great variety of soil, as well as of surface; but taking it as a whole, it is hilly, and in many parts broken and even mountainous.  Starting from a point opposite the mouth of the Kaskaskias and extending southwesterly, there is a vast ridge, rising into rocky elevations, which divides the country into two unequal slopes.  The southeastern angle of the state is level, a large portion of which is annually inundated.  The western counties are divided into prairies and forests, and much of the soil is good.  North of the Missouri the surface is somewhat diversified, presenting a fair proportion of woodlands, prairies and other arable soil.  The lands bordering on the Missouri are exceedingly rich and fertile, often consisting of strata of dark colored alluvion, of unknown depth, but more frequently mixed with sand.  In receding from the river, the land in general is gradual in its ascent, but sometimes rises abruptly into elevated barrens, flinty ridges, and limestone cliffs.  The land of this state may be regarded either as fertile or very poor, there being but little soil of an intermediate quality; it is either bottom land or cliff; prairie or barren; sterile ridges or sloping woodlands.

Mountains-- The state is traversed by many ridges of the Ozark mountains, which have a breadth of from 100 to 150 miles; but although they often shoot up into precipitous peaks, it is believed they rarely exceed 2,000 feet in height.  In St Francis county exists the celebrated Iron mountain, which as an elevation of 350 feet above the level of the surrounding plain, is a mile and a half across its summit, and yields 80 percent, of pure metal. Five miles south is another pyramidal mountain of oxyde of iron, known as Pilot Knob, 300 feet high, with a base of a mile and a half in circumference.  This pyramid also yields 80 percent of pure metal.

Rivers and Lakes-- The principal rivers are the Mississippi, Missouri, Osage, Salt, Gasconade, Chariton, Maramec, St Francis, Whitewater, Wachita, Big Black, and Des Moines.  In the southeast part of the state are several lakes, the most noted of which are Pemisco, St Mary's and Nic Carny.

Climate-- The climate is remarkably dry, pure and serene; and remote from the streams and inundated lands it is healthy, but it is subject to great extremes of heat and cold.  The Mississippi is usually frozen, and passable on the ice, by the first of January.  The extremes of temperature vary from 100° F to 8° below zero.

Productive Resources-- The principal products of this state are horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, sugar, wax, wool, hay, tobacco, cotton, hemp, flax, lumber, wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, potatoes, oats, and Indian corn.  The mineral wealth of Missouri, particularly lead, iron, and bituminous coal, may be regarded as inexhaustible.  The counties of Washington, Madison, St Francis, Jefferson and St Genevieve, embrace what is called the "mineral tract."  The lead mines have been worked from the time of the first settlement of the country, and produce ores of the richest kind, yielding, in some instances, more than 80 percent, of pure metal.  In addition to the above named substances there is found in this state zinc, copper, manganese, antimony, calamine, cobalt, ochres, common salt, nitre, plumbago, burr stone, free stone, gypsum and marble.

Manufactures-- The manufactures of Missouri are comparatively of small account.  The number of establishments in 1850, in which goods were manufactured to the annual amount of $500 worth or upward each, were 3,030, and of these nearly one half were located in the city and county of St Louis.

Commerce-- The commerce of Missouri consists mostly of its river trade, its foreign commerce being of very trifling account.  The shipping owned within the state (being mostly steamboats) amounts to about 30,000 tons.

Education-- There are several collegiate institutions in Missouri: the Masonic college in Marion county founded in 1831; University of St Louis in 1832; St Charles college in 1837; Missouri University at Columbia in 1840; St Vincent's college at Cape Girardeau in 1843; and Fayette college in 1846.  Medical schools are attached to the two universities.  There are nearly 2000 common schools, and about 100 academies in the state.

Government-- The governor is elected by the people for four years, but is ineligible for the succeeding four years.  A Lt governor is chosen at the same time, and for the same term, who is president of the senate.  Every county is entitled to send one representative, but the whole number can never exceed 100, and are elected for two years.  The senators are elected every four years, one half retiring every second year, and their number can never be less than 14, nor more than 33, chosen by districts, and apportioned according to the number of free white inhabitants.  The elections are held biennially, in August.  The legislature meets once in two years, the last Monday in December, at Jefferson city.  Every white male citizen, over 21 years of age, who has resided one year in the state, and three months in the county in which he offers his vote, has the right of suffrage.  The judges of the various courts are elected by the people for the term of six years.  One bank only with not more than five branches, may be established in the state.

Population-- in 1810 was 19,833; in 1820 was 66,586; in 1830 was 140,074; in 1840 was 383,702 and in 1850 was 682,044.  Number of slaves in 1810 was 3,011; in 1820 was 10,222; in 1830 was 24,990; in 1840 was 58,240 and in 1850 was 87,422.

History-- Father Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, and Jolyet, a citizen of Quebec, visited the territory of the present state of Missouri in 1673, and soon afterward the Canadian trappers and Jesuit missionaries penetrated the country in every direction.  The lead mines of Missouri were worked by the French as early as 1720.  The first permanent European settlement was made at St Genevieve, in 1763, by a lead mining company, under the name of "Lacede, Maziam & Co."  St Louis was founded the next year.  In 1800, Spain retroceded all her claims to Louisiana to France, who formally took possession of the country, and sold it to the United State in 1803.  In 1805, that portion of Louisiana lying east of the Mississippi, and all of the country bearing that name west of that river, was erected into a territorial government, under the name of the "Territory of Louisiana."  In 1812, a part of the present state of Louisiana was separated from the rest of the territory and admitted into the Union as an independent state, and the remainder was reorganized under the name of the "Territory of Missouri," which was supposed to contain all the lands west of the Mississippi to the "South Sea," except a part of the state of Louisiana.  In 1821, a part of this territory was admitted into the Union as the present state of Missouri.  On the subject of its admission a long debate ensued in Congress, it having been proposed to prohibit slavery in the new state.  It was finally admitted by what is called the Missouri compromise, which tolerated slavery in the state, but prohibited, it in the territory north of it.  Mottoes of the seal, Salus populi suprema lex esto; "The welfare of the people is the first great law." "United we stand, divided we fall."

1850 Counties of Missouri

County Description Area in sq miles Courts held at Pop in 1850
Adair northern part, traversed by Chariton river   Kirkville 2,342
Andrew northwest part, Nodaway & Missouri rivers on west side blank Savannah 8,443
Atchison northwest corner, between Missouri & Nodaway rivers blank blank 1,687
Audrain northeast part, drained by fork of Salt river 435 Mexico 3,506
Barry in southwest part, drained by White river 830 McDoanld 3,467
Bates on western boundary, crossed by Osage river 1,160 Batesville 3,099
Benton in western part, crossed by Osage river 1,050 Warsaw 5,015
Boone central part, on NE side of Missouri river 600 Columbia 14,979
Buchanan westerly boundary, on east side of Missouri river 800 Sparta 12,975
Butler southern boundary, crossed by Big Black river blank Cane Creek 1,616
Caldwell northwest part blank Kingston 2,316
Callaway central part, north side of Missouri river 760 Fulton 13,827
Camden central part, on south side of Osage river blank Erie 2,338
Cape Girardeau southeast part, on west side of Mississippi river 864 Jackson 13,912
Carroll toward the western part, on north side of Missouri river 700 Carrolltton 5,441
Cass western boundary blank Harrisonville 6,090
Cedar southwest part blank Fremont 3,361
Chariton northern part, Missouri river on southwest side, Grand river on west 832 Keytesville 7,514
Clark northeast corner, Des Moines river on NE and Mississippi river on west 560 Waterloo 5,527
Clay western part, on north side of Missouri river 432 Liberty 10,332
Clinton northwestern part 425 Plattsburgh 3,786
Cole central part, south side of Missouri river, Osage river on Southeast 650 Jefferson City 6,696
Cooper central part, south side of Missouri river 400 Booneville 12,950
Crawford southeast part, water by Maramec river 1650 Steelville 6,397
Dade southwest part 960 Greenfield 4,246
Dallas southwest part blank Buffalo 3,648
Daviess northwest part, crossed by long branch of Grand river 576 Gallatin 5,298
De Kalb northwest part blank Maysville 2,076
Dodge northern boundary blank St John 353
Dunklin southeastern corner, St Francis river on the west & Lake Pemisco & a part of Mississippi river on the southeast blank Chillitecaux 1,229
Franklin eastern part, Missouri river on north 850 Newport 11,021
Gasconade between eastern & central parts, on southern side of Missouri river, crossed by Gasconade river 1260 Hermann 4,996
Gentry not listed   Gentry  
Greene southwest part, crossed by White river 1000 Springfield 12,785
Grundy northern part, crossed by numerous branches of Grand river not listed Trenton 3,006
Harrison northern boundary blank Bethany 2,447
Henry western part, crossed by South Grand river 750 Clinton 4,052
Hickory south western part blank Hermitage 2,329
Holt western boundary, Missouri river on southwest blank Oregon 3,957
Howard northern part, Missouri river on south & west 398 Fayette 13,969
Jackson western boundary, Missouri river on north 525 Independence 14,000
Jasper western boundary 980 Jasper 4,223
Jefferson east boundary, Mississippi river on east 500 Hillsborough 6,928
Johnson western part 785 Warrensburgh 7,464
Knox north eastern part blank Edina 2,894
Laclede south part blank Cave Spring 2,498
Lafayette western part, Missouri river on north 450 Lexington 13,690
Lawrence south western part blank Mount Vernon 4,859
Lewis eastern boundary, Mississippi river on east 500 Monticello 6,578
Lincoln eastern boundary, Mississippi river on east 576 Troy 9,421
Linn northern part 588 Linneus 4,058
Livingston toward northwest part, crossed by Grand river 510 Chillicothe 4,247
Macon northern part, crossed by Chariton river 846 Bloomington 6,565
Madison south east part 780 Fredericktown 6,003
Marion eastern boundary, Mississippi river on east 425 Palmyra 12,230
McDonald southwest corner blank Rutledge 2,236
Mercer northern boundary blank Princeton 2,691
Miller central part, crossed by Osage river 555 Tuscumbia 3,834
Mississippi southeastern part, Mississippi river on east blank Charleston 3,123
Moniteau central part, Missouri river on northeast blank Jamestown 6,004
Monroe north eastern part 744 Paris 10,541
Montgomery eastern part, Missouri river on south 576 Danville 5,849
Morgan central part, Osage river on south 792 Versilles 4,650
New Madrid southeast part, Mississippi river on southeast, Lake St Mary's in the north 1625 New Madrid 5,541
Newton western boundary 1150 (in 1840) Neosho 4,268
Nodaway north boundary blank Marysville 2,118
Oregon south boundary blank Thomasville 1,432
Osage central part, Missouri & Osage rivers on northwest, crossed by Gasconade river blank Linn 6,704
Ozark south boundary blank Rockbridge 2,294
Perry eastern boundary, Mississippi river on northeast 400 Perryville 2,438
Pettis toward west part 600 Georgetown 5,150
Pike northeastern boundary, Mississippi river on northeast 720 Bowling Green 13,609
Platte western boundary, with Missouri river on southwest blank Platte City 16,845
Polk in south western part 760 Bolivar 6,186
Pulaski toward south part 1332 Waynesville 3,998
Putnam north boundary, Chariton river on east blank Putnamville 1,657
Quahaw no description blank Crawford Seminary not listed
Ralls eastern boundary, Mississippi river on east, crossed by Salt river 470 New London 6,151
Randolph toward northern boundary 450 Huntsville 9,439
Ray western part, Missouri river on south 570 Richmond 10,373
Ripley south boundary 1080 Doniphan 2,830
St Charles eastern boundary, Mississippi river on southeast 470 St Charles 11,454
St Clair toward southwestern part, crossed by Osage river 820 Osceola 3,556
St Francis toward southeast 425 Farmington 4,964
St Genevieve on eastern boundary, Mississippi river on northeast 400 St Genevieve 5,313
St Louis on eastern boundary, Mississippi river on east, Missouri river on northwest & Maramee river on south 550 St Louis 104,978
Saline toward northwest part, Missouri river on north & east 829 Marshall 8,843
Schuyler north boundary, Chariton river on west blank Lancaster 3,287
Scotland on northern boundary blank Memphis 3,782
Scott on eastern boundary, Mississippi river on northeast 936 Benton 7,914
Shannon in south part 1300 Eminence 1,199
Shelby northeast part 432 Shelbyville 4,253
Sullivan in north part blank Milan 2,983
Taney on south boundary, crossed by White river 1426 Forsyth 4,373
Texas southern part blank Houston 2,312
Warren in eastern part, Missouri river on south 350 Warrenton 5,860
Washington in east part 820 Potosi 8,811
Wayne in southeast part, St Francis river on southeast, crossed by Big Black river 1200 Greenville 4,518
Wright in southern part blank Hartsville 3,387

Jefferson City, MO

Seat of justice of Cole Co, and capital of Missouri, is situated near the central part of the state, on the south bank of the Missouri, nine miles from the mouth of the Osage river, 134 miles west of St Louis, and 9636 miles from Washington.  Its site is elevated, and it contains the state house, governor's mansion, penitentiary, and other public buildings and is gradually aand substantially rising in wealth and intelligence.

Population: in 1830 was 1,200; in 1840 was 1,174 and in 1850 was 3,721

St Louis, MO

City, seat of justice on St Louis Co, MO, situated on the west bank of Mississippi river, 20 miles below the junction of the Missouri, 180 miles above the Ohio, 1,150 miles from New Orleans, and 856 miles from Washington.  It is built upon two elevations, the lower twenty feet above the river, and the higher sixty feet.  The terrace, as it may be styled, next the water, affords room for several business streets, some of which are lined with rows of spacious and imposing warehouses.  Above, are many fine sites for residence and for public buildings, churches, asylums, schools, banks, and various other prominent edifices.  The thickly peopled part of the city extends several miles along the river, and about a mile westward.  The whole area is much larger, including 36 square miles or more, and is filling up with unexampled rapidity.

The commercial position and advantages are remarkable, as its growing prosperity conclusively testifies.  Few towns on the Mississippi have so favorable a position with respect to that river, while it is the entrepot of a vast trade from the valleys of Ohio and Missouri rivers.  It is thus identified in progress with an extensive section of the west, to which it holds an important relation.  The surrounding land is fertile, populous, and well cultivated, and of course contributes largely to the maintenance and trade of the city.  The harbor is sufficient for steamboats of the largest class, many hundreds of which stop at this point every year.

The manufactures of St Louis are also extensive and varied, embracing articles of different descriptions, to the amount of many hundred thousand dollars.

The city is lighted with gas, and supplied with water from the river, elevated into reservoirs by steam engines, and thence distributed by iron pipes.  It is the seat of St Louis University, and contains other scientific and literary institutions of different grades.

The population in 1810 was 1,600; in 1820 was 4,598; in 1830 was 5,852; in 1840 was 16,469 and in 1850 was 77,864.

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