The Source is: P.M. Pinckard, The Missouri handbook, St. Louis, 1865, 162 pgs.
Transcribed by Donna Walton



DESCRIPTION OF MISSOURI COUNTIES

 

MACON COUNTY

Is situated in the northern part of the State, about equidistant from the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and the Iowa State line, and has an area of 830 square miles.
The surface of the county is undulating, in many places what is termed “broken”.  There are numerous singularly formed knobs, some of which are so regular in contour that they resemble more the work of art than those of nature.  The summit of the knobs seems to have been a common level, in some instances 200 feet above the general surface.  A tendency to this conformation is first observed in township 60, in the northern part of the county, and extends down into 56, but they are seen in all their prominent characteristics in Townships 58 and 59, north of the H. & St. R.R. (For a full description of these knobs, and of this county, in detail, see “Missouri As It Is”, pages 305 to 308).  This county, or a great portion of it, is under laid by a stratum or bituminous coal, which is exposed in the banks of eight different streams along
the line of the H. & St. R.R., going west from Bloominton.  This bed varies from one to nine feet in thickness, the maximum occurring near Bloomington.
Lead ore has been found in the vicinity of Grand River, and crude copperas on the tributaries of Muscle Fork.  Land generally very fertile. 
Principal towns, Bloomington, Macon City, Hudson, Carbon, New Boston, LaPlata, Hunnewell, etc. Population in 1860, 6,833.

 

MADISON COUNTY

Is situated in the southeast part of the State, and is one of the most intensely mineral counties in the State.  The first settlement made in this section of country was at
Mine LaMotte, in 1722 or 1723, which mines were discovered by a Frenchman, whose name they bear.  (For the early history of these mines see pages 308 to 313 “Missouri As It Is”).  The general surface of the county is uneven and hilly, and in some portions what may be termed “mountainous”.  The higher hills are generally composed of immense masses of porphyritic stone.  A great proportion of the county is unfit for cultivation, but some of the valleys produce well, and near Fredericktown there is a considerable body of fertile land.  There is probably not in the world, besides this, a section of country of the same area, possessing a greater variety of minerals, and in greater quantities than are found in Madison County.  Gold, silver, lead, copper, iron, platina, nickel, cobalt and manganese are found in quantities that pay a good profit for working them.  See mineralogical chapter in this book-also for particular location of minerals see Geological Matt of Missouri just issued.
Population in 1850, 5,5338.

 

MARIES COUNTY

Is situated in the central part of the State-was formed in 1855 from the north part of Pulaski and the southern portion of Osage counties.  The general surface of the country is broken timberland; however very good soil is found in the valleys of spring creek, along the Maries, on the Dry Fork of the Bourbeusc, in Lane’s prairie,
and the adjacent timberlands.  Stock growing and fruit and grape culture could be profitably prosecuted in this country.  There are deposits of lead, iron and copper
ores, in various localities in this county, but little attention has been paid to mining.  The “Central Missourian”, published at Vienna, says: “The lead mines opened by
Wiley Williams, in the northwest part of the county, bear favorable indications of being one of the richest deposits of lead in the States.”  Copper mines, which were abandoned several years ago, have since been re-opened and yield largely.  Iron ore is also found in the county.  (For particular location of minerals seen “Parker’s Geological Map of Missouri.”)  There were in February 1865, 27,000 acres of unentered land in this county.  Population in 1860, 27,000.

 

MARION COUNTY

Is situated in the east-northeast portion of the State.  There are very few, if any, counties in Missouri possessing a more desirable division of prairie and timber,
better soil and building material, or that is better supplied with water.  Probably two-thirds of the surface is undulating prairie; the woodland is in thin groves along the margins of streams, extending here and there out into the prairies, and embraces hickories, oaks, black walnut, sugar tree, ash, sassafras, (some sassafras trees are two
feet in diameter, and used for rails,) haws, elms, honey, locust, etc.  Lead, zinc and iron ores have been found in small quantities, but not sufficient to pay for working,
thus far.  Bituminous coal is abundant, underlying the greater portion of the county.  Excellent building stones, clays, etc., abundant.  The prairie soil is generally under
laid by a thick layer of silicious marl, which contains all the elements necessary to render it exceedingly fertile, and adapted to most purposes of farming, either in wet
or dry seasons.  There is a cave in this county which has been explored a distance of ten miles.  Population in 1860, 4,875. 
Principal towns, Hannibal, Palmyra, Marion City and Philadelphia.

 

M’DONALD COUNTY

Is situated in the extreme southwestern corner of the State, bounded on the south by the Arkansas State line, and on the west by the Indian Territory. 
The surface of the country is broken, and much of the upland sterile and unproductive for some crops, but well adapted for fruit culture.  The valleys are fertile and adapted to stock growing purposes.  The county is well watered by clear, rapid streams, some of which afford excellent water power for mills or manufactories, which would prove of advantage to the community, and profitable to the proprietors.  The timber consists of oak, walnut, pine, cedar, wild cherry, etc. 
Probably four-fifths of the county is timberland.  Farmers and stock growers, with capital, and manufacturers to improve the excellent waterpower are much needed. 
A good portion of the year Elk River is navigable, by which produce is flat-boated down into the Arkansas to Fort Gibson and Van Buren, Ark.  After disposing of the produce, the boats are readily sold at good prices.  There is considerable lead ore in the northern part of the county.  Acres of unentered land in February 1865, 255,000.  Population in 1860, 3,976.

 

MERCER COUNTY

Is situated on the Iowa State line, about midway between the two great rivers that wash either shore of the northern part of the State.  The surface is level and undulating, with about an equal division of prairie and timber. The soil is generally fertile and yields as follows: Of hemp, 1000 lbs. Per acre; tobacco, 1000; corn, 100 bushels; wheat, 33 bushels; rye 40; oats 50; buckwheat, 40; while the yield of vegetables will compare favorably with almost any section.  Of Hungarian grass, as high as seven tons,
and of timothy, five tons, are said to have been cut per acre.  These farm statistics, though furnished by farmers, I believe to be above the average yield.  The county has an abundance of excellent timber and building stone; strong, fertile soils, is very well watered, has a healthy climate and good demand for all kinds of produce.  Coal, iron and copper have been found in the county in small quantities, but no mines opened.  Population in 1860, 9, 286.

 

MILLER COUNTY

Is situated in the south central part of the State, and contains an area of about 570 square miles.  The surface of the country is generally broken timberland, and with the exception of the valleys, the soil is thin and sterile.  The county is intersected by the Osage River, which is navigable for small boats from four to six months in the year.  Some good mill sites are found on Tavern and Auglaize creeks, and there is an abundance of excellent sugar maple, walnut and oak for lumber.  The soil and climate are well adapted to fruit culture, and also to stock growing.  The yield of tobacco (a very profitable crop) is above the average.  The common varieties of fruit are abundant.  The county is well adapted to stock raising.  Grazing lands occupy a fair proportion of the county.  Timothy yields two and a half tons; Hungarian grass, three tones; oats 35 bushels; corn 65 bushels, and wheat 25 bushels to the acre.  Both lead and iron exist in the county.  Population in 1860, 6,316.

 

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY

Is situated in the southeastern part of the State, and is well named, as the Mississippi river washes a good portion of the northern, eastern and southern borders of the county.  The soil is rich, alluvial river bottoms-every way as productive as the delta of ancient Egypt.  Owing to the peninsular shape of the county, and the fact that the James Bayou runs through its center almost the entire length, having as much fall in 21 miles as the river has in 75, the land is susceptible of being drained at trifling expense.  To protect the country from overflow, the county built some 30 miles of levee at an expense of nearly $100,000.  The staple crop is corn, of which from 60 to 100 bushels per acre are raised.  Wheat thrives on the prairies.  Vegetables grow to an immense size.  Peaches yield finely.  The pecan yields abundantly.  The Cairo and Fulton railroad has been completed, and running to Charleston, for two years, or more.  For a minute description of this county see “Missouri As It Is,” pages 321 to 325.  Population in 1860, 3,762.

 

MONITEAU COUNTY

Is probably the most centrally located county in the State.  It presents every variety of surface, from the low alluvial bottoms of the Missouri to the high prairie lands of the south and west, which rise from an altitude ranging from 350 to 500 feet about the Missouri river.  The surface is broken or hilly with about an equal division of prairie and timber.  The richest and deepest soil is found in the alluvial bottoms, in the northeast portion of the county, and in the valleys of Moniteau, Moreau, and their tributaries.  There is an abundance of timber.  There are a great many “sink holes” in the northern and western portions of the county, generally near the bluffs along the streams, which terminate in fissures or caverns in the rocks beneath.  Rich beds of both bituminous and cannel coal are found in the county, and mines are already worked to advantage in several parts of the county.  Lead ore has been discovered at various localities in all those portions of the county where magnesian limestone forms the
surface rock.  These locations are shown upon the Geological map. Openings have been made in Township 45, Range 14, and Township 46, Range 15. 
Population in 1860, 10,202.

 

MONROE COUNTY

Is situated about the center of the northeast part of the State.  About two-thirds of the county is timber the prairies small and fertile.  The general character of the county is undulating, and the timber consists of oaks, hickories, ash, elm, hackberry, walnut, buckeye, sugar, maple, linn and birch.  The country is well watered, and numerous springs are found in various parts of the county.  Williams’ spring, at Paris, is one of considerable note.  The soil is generally fertile and well adapted to all purposes of the farmer or stock grower.  The higher rolling lands are well adapted to the growth of fine tobacco, which has been one of the principal staples of the county.  This has been a good stock growing region from its first settlement.  A large portion of the county is under laid with workable beds of coal, and banks are opened in a few localities.  Building materials of all kinds abundant.  Farmers, mechanics, steam mills, brick and stonemasons are wanted.  Good water power unimproved.  Population in 1860, 11,865.

 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Is situated in the eastern part of the State, on the north shore of the Missouri river.  This county was created from St. Charles, in 1818, and some of the most daring battles fought between the pioneers and the savages occurred upon territory now embraced within its limits.  The northern portion of the county is level prairie-the southern broken timberland.  Cannel coal has been found in considerable quantities near Danville, and bituminous coal near Wellsville, is very abundant.  The whole county is under laid with coal.  There are fine springs, good building stone, clay for bricks, etc.  The soil is generally fertile, and adapted to all the purposes of agriculture.  Stock growing could be profitably conducted.  Having the Missouri river on the south, for shipment, and being traversed by the North Missouri railroad, the county possesses superior commercial facilities.  Population in 1860, 7,363. 

 

MORGAN COUNTY

Is situated in the central part of the State.  The surface of the county is undulating, with about an equal division of prairie and timber.  The prairies and valleys along the streams are very fertile, and produce large crops of all the fruits, grains, grasses and vegetables that grow in this latitude.  Lead ore, bituminous and cannel coal, limestone and freestone are found in various parts of the county.  The principal natural advantages of Morgan County are a healthy climate, fertile soil, good schools, an intelligent community, cheap lands, and a good market for produce; and for building purposes good material of all kinds.  It is said there is a cave in this county, near the Gravois, which opens at the base of a hill, and extends through it a distance of 200 yards-through which a person can easily ride on horseback, but we have never seen it. 
Principal towns, Versailles, Syracuse, Tuckerville, Mining Point, etc.  The county is traversed by the Pacific railroad.  Population in 1860, 7,624. 

 

NEW MADRID COUNTY

Is situated near the southeastern extremity of the State, bounded on the east by the Mississippi river, which separates it from Tennessee and Kentucky.  This and adjoining counties embrace most of what is termed in the Government surveys as “the Swamp Region”.  The general surface of the country is a level plain, watered by lakes and sluggish streams, and some portions are heavily timbered with oaks, ash, hickory, walnut, hackberry, boxwood, coffee-bean, black locust, blank and sweet gum and cypress.  The soil is exceedingly fertile, and produces enormous yields of corn, wheat, oats, hemp, cotton and all root crops.  Corn and stock, however, have been the staple products.  It is estimated there is more corn raised here, at a better profit, than in any other county in the State.  For a more lengthy description of this county,
also a history of earthquakes of 1811-12 see “Missouri As It Is, in 1865”.  Population in 1860 3,886.

 

NEWTON COUNTY

Is situated in the southwestern corner of the state, bordered on the west by the Kansas State line.  The face of the country is generally undulating, with prairie and timber about equally divided.  This county embraces some of the finest agricultural lands in Southern Missouri, both valley and upland.  The valleys of nearly all the streams are rich and well timbered with oak, hickory, walnut, elm, hackberry, mulberry, and a great abundance of native grape vines.  Indian, Hickory, Shoal, Copp’s creek and Lost creek affords waterpower which is seldom excelled.  This county is the heart of center of what the State Geologist as pronounced “one of the best lead regions in the world.”  (For full particulars as to the location of minerals, see Geological map of Missouri, just published.)  Granby and Neosho are the principal mining and smelting points.  Sulphuret of zinc has also been found in a number of mines.  Lead forms the principal staple of Newton county, yet the agricultural pursuits will prove very remunerative.  Soil well adapted to fruit culture.  Stock growing will pay well.  Hopes are entertained of the early completion of the Southwest Branch of the Pacific railroad.  For more detailed statements see “Missouri As It Is,” pages 337 to 341.

 

NODAWAY COUNTY

Is situated in what is knows as “The Platte Country,” in the northwestern part of the State.  It embraces both prairie and timber; the soil is fertile, undulating, and some portions broken.  As to fertility, the soil is hardly surpassed in the State.  The county is well watered by the Platte, Hundred-and-Two, and Nodaway, each affording excellent water power for manufactories and mills.  Farmers, stock growers, manufacturers and mechanics will here find attractive inducements for investment and business.  Population in 1860, 5,136. 

 

OREGON COUNTY

Is situated on the southern line of the State.  A great portion of the land is too rough and sterile for profitable cultivation-probably not over one-fifth being what can be considered farming land.  It is all naturally timber land-principally oaks, hickory, ash and walnut; but the north part of the county embraces some fine large pine timber, which, to render available, must be sawed by steam mills-there being no water power convenient.  Both lead and copper in the county.  Population in 1860, 3, 428.

 

OSAGE COUNTY

Situated near the center of the State, is bounded on the north by Missouri River, on the west by the Osage, and four townships in its southeast corner are traversed by
the Gasconade.  The first settlements made here by persons from the Eastern States and by Germans.  The general character of the country is uneven, and some portions broken and sterile.  The valleys and much of the table-land is fertile, and what are known as the “breaks of the Osage,” have been discovered to be rich in lead ore,
and it is believed iron ore will be found abundant in some parts of the county.  Pieces of iron ore have been picked up on the surface of several hills, and surface lead ore, yielding 80 percent of pure lead has been found in a number of places near the Gasconade river.  Excellent limestone abundant.  The county is well timbered with oak, hickory, black walnut, etc., and saw mills would do well on the Gasconade, Osage or Maries; the lumber or furniture could easily be transported down these streams to the Pacific railroad or the Missouri river.  Several Germans are turning their attention to grape culture, and are confident that the cheap “flint hills” will produce more, with less labor, than more fertile soil cultivated for other purposes.  Osage is not a first-rate agricultural county, yet the average yield per acre of the farms under cultivation is reported to us to be as follows:  corn 75 bushels; wheat 30, rye 40, barley 50, oats 50, buckwheat 50, tobacco 1500lbs.  The root crops and fruit product is probably a
little less than an average with counties in the same latitude.  Wanted in this county-a wild-awake newspaper, a few go-ahead farmers, manufacturers, saw mills, furniture factories, mechanics, and capitalists.  But nearly every county in the State present good openings for all these classes. 

 

OZARK COUNTY

Is situated in the southern portion of the state, bordering on the Arkansas State line.  As will be seen by reference to the map, it is well watered, and Little North Fork affords excellent waterpower.  The general surface of the country is hilly or mountainous, and covered with forests of timber, consisting of oak, hickory and yellow pine, the latter attaining a great size.  But little attention has been given to farming, but some farmers claim to have produced, per acre, as high as 90 bushels of corn, 30 bushels of wheat, and 30 bushels of oats.  There are four waterpower saw mills, and eight waterpower flouring mills in the county.  Much of the lumber used for building in several adjoining counties west and northwest, was made in Oregon and Douglas counties, and probably as good yellow pine as there is in the State, is found here.
Population in 1860, 4,921.

 

PEMISCOT COUNTY

Is situated in the extreme southeastern corner of the State, bordering on the Mississippi river.  This county is in the district that suffered so much from the earthquakes of 1811-12, and the numerous lakes spread over the county are left as “land marks” of that unusual occurrence.  The greater portion of the county is subject to overflow
from the Mississippi, but the citizens are building a levee, which will protect them from this, and reclaim many thousand acres from inundation.  The soil is very fertile bottomland, of an alluvial formation, heavily timbered with oaks, ash, elm, hickory, cottonwood, sycamore and cypress.  The climate is probably as healthy as any section similarly situated.  Iron ore is the only mineral found in this county.  Bog ore is abundant in Little River township, in the western part of the county.  All kinds of grain yield immense crops-wheat, oats, corn, rye, millet, etc., produce well.  The grasses, water and climate are all favorable for stock growing, for which no county offers greater inducements.  Farm products of all kinds can be shipped to southern cities at trifling cost.  This section was first settled as early as 1700, by Spanish colonies, and in 1802 by citizens moving to other sections.  A number of lakes were here formed at that time, by the settling of the earth’s surface-the largest, Lake Pemiscot, eight by fifteen miles in size.

 

PERRY COUNTY

Situated in the east-southeastern part of the State, besides being watered on the northeast by the Mississippi river for thirty miles, is watered also by Apple, Saline, Cape Cinque Homme and Bois Brule creeks.  The surface is generally broken, well timbered, and the soil well adapted to most agricultural products.  Both iron and lead ore
have been found in the county, but no extensive mining done.  An excellent quality of white marble is found also, which, when quarried, is soft, and variegated with blue; after having been polished the blue assumes a green tinge and the marble hardens upon exposure.  The Bois Brule (burnt wood) bottom extending along the Mississippi river-25 miles long by a width of three miles-is one of the most fertile alluvians found anywhere.  The immense yields of agricultural products from these bottoms are truly surprising.  The soil of the county is admirably adapted to the cultivation of light tobacco, which is now one of the most profitable of all crops.
Population in 1860, 10, 017.

PETTIS COUNTY

Is situated in the west central part of the State.  The principal timber of the county consists of groves situated along the streams, stretching some distance up their smaller branches, forming a fair proportion of timberland for the cultivation of the prairie of the county.  The surface of the county is principally prairie, and generally very fertile.  Large and lasting springs of clear cold water flow from the earth in various locations, and salt springs exist from which neighborhoods have manufactured their own salt.  Coal, lead and iron exist in paying quantities.  The county is traversed by the Pacific railroad.  Of farm products we have the following statistics of the yield: Grapes 100 bushels per acre; hump 1200 lbs; tobacco 800 lbs; flax 200 lbs; barley 40, oats 50, buckwheat 20, potatoes 150, timothy 1 ½ tons, clover 2 tons, Hungarian grass 3 tons.  Chinese sugar cane, fruit of all kinds and vegetables yield well.  Several unimproved sites for waterpower.  Good openings for farmers, mechanics, manufacturers, etc.  Population in 1860, 9,503.

 

PHIELPS COUNTY

Situated in the southeastern part of the State, was formed from Crawford county, and organized in 1857.  The first, and as yet most important settlement made in the county is at the Maramec Iron Works.  These pioneer works of Missouri are located in section 1, township 37, range 6 west, and are driven by a large spring, which is the chief source of the Maramec river, and discharges in the driest seasons 10.000 gallons of water per minute, and with a fall of 12 feet, turns seven large water wheels, which drive a furnace-blast, forge-blast, ancony forge, chaffery forge, bloom forge, grist mill and saw mill.  (For a full description of these works, see “Missouri As It Is” pages 352 and 353).  Specular and hematite iron ore are found in immense quantities, and sulphuret of lead ore in several localities, shown upon the Geological map, just issued.  The surface of the country is rolling, the western portion being most broken, particularly in the vicinity of the streams where (after ascending from the valleys) the soil is thin and the surface broken into rough ridges, which are succeeded further from the streams by more moderately undulating slopes and better soil.  Some of the finest farming lands in the county are in the woodlands and prairie, upon the divide between the Maramec and Boubeuse.  Farmers will find sub-soiling the uplands profitable.  The valleys are generally heavily timbered with white and bur oak, hickory, white and black walnut, maples, dogwood and thorn.  A variety of grapes are found upon the ridges, and will produce well if cultivated, and much of the soil is admirably adapted to fruit and grape culture.  Good waterpower, principally unimproved, may be found upon Bear creek, Little Pincy, Dry Fork, Maramec and Borbeuse.  We have never visited the locality, but are informed that the Dry Fork, South Fork and North Fork of the Piney all sink into the earth and are lost sight of for ten to twelve miles, and again reappear near where the Pacific railroad crosses Big Piney-in a spring 40 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep, the water very clear and cold.  The stream formed by this spring flows into the Big Piney about 100 feet from the spring, affording in the distance water power directly on the railroad, having a fall of eight feet.  Capitalists could profitably erect saw and planning mills at this point, as there are immense forests of the best of yellow pine a few miles up the Big Piney, and lumber after being planed would not depreciate by retaining grit, when rafted down the rivers to market.
Rolla, the county seat has become an important military post and is present terminus of the Southwest Branch of the Pacific railroad. 

 

PIKE COUNTY

Situated on the Mississippi river, is among the oldest counties in the State, and was settled by persons from the Southern States.  The face of the country is undulating,
and in many places near the river quite broken.  Originally one-third of the county was prairie land, the remainder well covered with walnut, linn, hackberry, sugar tree, elm, ash and black and white oak.  There are numerous fresh water and saline springs in the county.  The county is very well watered.  It is under laid with limestone, sandstone, soapstone, and the Missouri buhr stone, is also found in some localities.  The soil and productions are much the same as those of Ralls and Lincoln, which see for full descriptions.  On the prairies the soil is deep black loam, exceedingly fertile.  That on the upland, especially on the ridges, is thin and more particularly adapted to small grain and fruit.  Among the natural advantages may be named good soil for all kinds of grain and grasses-most kinds of fruits and vegetables, a healthy climate, good water, plenty of timber and coal in the western part of the county.  Easy access by river to good markets.  Population in 1860, 18, 338. 

 

 PLATTE COUNTY

 Is situated in the southwestern part of the State, in the great bend, where the Missouri river changes from its southern to easterly course.  This county forms the southern point of the “Platte Purchase”.  The surface of the country is diversified with forests of valuable timber and undulating prairies, the soil of which is unsurpassed in fertility, and is generally well cultivated.  The county is well watered by the Platte river, Brush, Rush and Bee creeks and their tributaries.  In 1850 this county produced more hemp than any other county in the Union, more wheat and better than any other in Missouri, and was surpassed in the amount of corn raised by but one county.  One farmer last season raised $1,600 worth of corn from 20 acres, besides feeding all his farm stock.  A farmer extensively engaged in raising hemp informs us his average crop is 1120 lbs of Chinese hemp to the acre, and that he can raise hemp on his land twelve or fifteen years in succession without manure or rest.  For particulars as to hemp culture, and statistics of this county, see “Missouri As It Is” pages 357 to 360.  Population in 1860, 18,495.

 

POLK COUNTY

Is situated in the southwestern portion of the State.  The topography of this county is agreeably diversified with rolling prairies, picturesque hills and wooded valleys.
The surface is generally undulating, except along the streams, where it is broken in many places by rugged cliffs, and rocky hills.  The county is very well watered by
creeks and springs.  In the bottoms of the Pomme de Terre, the remains of the mastodon and mammoth, with other species now extinct have been found imbedded, with the bones of the bear, buffalo, elk, etc.  The most productive soils of the upland is on the limestone hills of the Sac and its tributaries, while the bottomlands or valleys of the same streams are unsurpassed in fertility.  In some parts of the county the land is poor, and the timbered ridges too rocky and sterile for cultivation.  Tobacco is a sure and profitable crop.  The soil is well adapted to cereals, roots and grasses that flourish in this latitude; corn, oats, wheat and timothy are considered as certain crops.  Apples, pears, peaches and plums yield plentifully.  Grape culture would prove very successful-indigenous varieties grow in abundance.  Owing to the want of the facilities for transportation to market, (until the Southwest Branch is completed), stock growing will probably be the most pleasant and profitable business for farmers.  In past years 2000 horses and mules have been taken to the cotton states, and a much larger number of cattle to St. Louis and other markets.  Sheep thrive well, the climate being most favorable t their growth.  There are four steam and five waterpower mills, two distilleries and four carding machines in the county.  These remarks will generally apply to adjoining counties.

 

PULASKI COUNTY

Is situated in the south central part of the state.  The country is generally broken-some of the hills and ridges attaining an elevation of from sixty to five hundred feet above the watercourses.  The so-called “post oak flats” are less rough, and some portions only gently rolling and others too low and flat for cultivation, in certain seasons of the year.  The most extensive flats lie between the Gasconade river, Robideauz and Big Piney creek, east of the latter, and also upon the ridges in the northern part of the county.  When this soil is plowed, it becomes more dry and makes good farming land.  The valleys, though narrow, are very fertile, especially the most extensive-called “Prairie Hollows”.  The valleys of the Gasconade and Big Piney rivers and Robideaux creek are heavily timbered with oaks, black walnut, hickory, maple, elm, cottonwood, dogwood and basswood.  Some of the hills near the streams are also heavily timbered.  All kinds of building materials are abundant.  Specular, sulphuret
and brown heratite iron ores are found in working quantities in several localities.  Large quantities of saltpeter have been found in several of the caves in this county.

 

PUTNAM COUNTY

Is situated in the north central part of the State, bounded on the north by the Iowa State line.  The eastern portion of the county is principally timber, while the central
and western is prairie and timber diversified.  The county is drained by the Medicine, Locust, the two Blackbirds, Muscle Fork and Spring creek.  The soil is very fertile and well adapted to all farming purposes.  Corn is the staple product, bua all kinds of grain flourishes.  Stock growing has received considerable attention. 
Coal of good quality is abundant in various portions of the county.  There are 18 saw mills (five water and 13 steam power), and three steam flouring mills in the county.
Excellent openings for every branch of industry.  Population in 1860, 9,240.

 

RALLS COUNTY

The general surface of this county is broken and undulating-about five-eighths timberland, and three-eighths prairie.  The timber consists of black and white oak, hickory, elm, walnut, hackberry, sugar tree, ash etc.  As to fertility the soil may be set down as above the average.  It produces per acre, corn 100 bushels, wheat 66 bushels,
rye 30 bushels, oats 70, potatoes 200, onions 300, and other crops in proportion.  Timothy and Hungarian grass yield very well while native prairie grass grows luxuriantly, affording pasturage from the middle of April to the middle of October.  Saline springs in several localities.  Stock raising has been carried on more extensively than any
other branch of husbandry.  Sheep raising would pay well.  There are eight steam, and four waterpower saw mills in the county.  The farmer will find good unimproved land at fair prices, well watered, timber or prairie, plenty of coal in the western part of the county, facilities for reaching market by river or railroad, etc. 
Population in 1860, 7,879.

 

RANDOLPH COUNTY

Is situated north of the center of the State, bounded on the south by Howard and Boone counties, which separate it from the Missouri river.  The face of the country is generally level or undulating-about one-fifth prairie, with timber abundant and convenient to most parts of the county.  Limestone, clay for brick and building materials are abundant.  The soil is generally fertile, and well adapted to all farming purposes.  Some valuable mill or manufacturing sites on the East Fork and Chariton River.  Stock growing has proved very profitable.  Coal abundant in nearly every portion of the county.  The county is traversed by the North Missouri railroad, affording excellent facilities for transportation to market.  For early history of this county, in detail, see “Missouri As It Is in 1865”, pages 369 to 372.  Population in 1860, 11,452. 

 

RAY COUNTY

Situated on the north bank of the Missouri river in the western part of the State, embraces a desirable division of prairie and timber land, the various kinds of oak, elm, hickory, walnut, maple, hackberry, etc.  About two-fifths of the county is timberland, one-fourth bottomland, and over two-thirds tillable land. All kinds of grains, grasses, fruit and vegetables yield well.  This county is admirably adapted to grazing purposes, being well watered, with an abundance of fine grassland range.  Lime stone springs are abundant, and some tar or oil springs in the county, principally along Crooked River and its tributaries, and on the headwaters of Waconda creek.  It is believed that rich deposits of petroleum will be found in this county.  Nodules of lead have been found in coal banks near Richmond, and silver has been found on Rocky Fork of Crooked River, seven miles northwest from Richmond, the traces of old “diggings” have been found in this vicinity.  A number of coal mines are worked successfully, for home production.  Several companies have purchased or leased lands, and are preparing to bore for petroleum.  The St. Louis Company own 320 acres, near the county-seat,
and expect to commence operations early in May.  The Western Branch of the North Missouri railroad will traverse this county. 

 

REYNOLDS COUNTY

Is situated in the southeastern part of the State, bounded on the north by Iron and Dent.  The face of the country is rough and broken, and in many portions the scenery is wild and beautiful.  The county is heavily timbered with forests of yellow pine, ash, hickory, etc.  Some of the high table lands are susceptible of cultivation, and the
valleys and bottom lands are very productive.  Many of the ridges usually looked upon as worthless contain the proper elements to render them very productive orchards and vineyards.  Excellent water power for iron and lead manufactories, mills, etc.  Extensive deposits of hematite iron ore, and numerous beds of lead (as shown upon Parker’s Geological Map), exist in various localities.  Turpentine, rosin and lumber could be manufactured here profitably.  Population in 1860, 3,320.

 

RIPLEY COUNTY

Is situated in the southeastern part of the State, bounded on the south by the Arkansas State line.  The general surface of the country is undulating, and some portions quite rough.  It is traversed from north to south by the Current River, and also drained by Fourche and Mill creeks, and other tributaries of Big Black and Current Rivers.
Some of the streams afford excellent unimproved water power.  Clear, cold water springs are abundant in this and Carter counties, and the streams are clear cool and rapid.  The uplands and ridges are timbered principally with yellow pine and red cedar-the former growing to an immense size, offering inducements to energetic capitalists for the manufacture of turpentine, rosin, wooden-ware, lumber, etc.  Besides the above named, oaks, elms, walnut and hickories are abundant.  There is an abundance of iron and lead ores, and very favorable indications of rich beds of copper.  It has rich mineral deposits waiting to be developed.  Population in 1860, 3,700.

 

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