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

 

 



DESCRIPTION OF MISSOURI COUNTIES

 

  

SALINE COUNTY

 

Is situated on the right bank of the Missouri river, near the center of the State, east and west, and is bounded on the northwest, northeast and east, by the Missouri river.  The distance from where the river strikes the county, to where it leaves it at Arrow Rock, is about 90 miles, and by and airplane between the two points, but 32 miles.
The surface of the country is undulating, and is about two-thirds prairie.  The deficiency of timber is more than compensated by the extensive bed of cannel or bituminous coal that underlies most of the county, and is generally near the surface.  The soil is exceedingly fertile, especially on the bottoms and upland prairies.  It is well adapted to the culture of hemp and tobacco, hence for most other products.  Some farms yield, per acre, of hemp 1300 pounds; tobacco 1200; corn 100 bushels; wheat 40; rye 50; barley 60; oats 50; buckwheat 40; potatoes 300; turnips 400; clover 4 tons; timothy 3 tons; Hungarian grass 5 tons, with a good return of apples, peaches, pears, etc.  Springs both saline and fresh are numerous, affording excellent water for all purposes, agricultural and mechanical.  Limestone, sandstone, and lead ore exist in this county.

 

SCHUYLER COUNTY

 

Is situated in the northeastern part of the State, bounded on the north by the Iowa State line.  The surface of the county is undulating, and about one-third of it broken.
It is all fertile and susceptible of cultivation, about two-thirds timber, and the remainder prairie land.  The soil and climate are well adapted to the culture of most kinds of grains and grasses, yielding as follows: Wheat 20 bushels, corn 80; rye 25; oats 40; buckwheat 25; potatoes 200; onions 400; beets 500; turnips 200; hemp 600 pounds; tobacco 1000 pounds; timothy 2 tons; and Hungarian grass 3 tons per acre.  The North Missouri railroad will be completed at an early day, and will pass through the center of the county.  Population in 1860, 6,721.

 

SCOTLAND COUNTY

 

Is situated in the north northeastern part of the State, bordering on the Iowa line.  The surface of the country is undulating, and consists principally of prairies.  It is very well watered.  The timber is principally oak, hickory, elm, etc.  The soil is generally fertile and well adapted to farming or grazing purposes.  For capacity of soil, etc., see description of Schuyler county.  Population in 1860, 9,351.

 

SCOTT COUNTY

 

Is situated in the southeastern part of the State, on the Mississippi River.  In the northern and western part of the county the surface is broken and uneven, and many of the highlands and ridges under laid with the same limestone so abundant at Cape Girardeau-so superior for building purposes.  The soil on the uplands is inclined to be sterile and thin, while that of the valleys, prairies and bottoms is exceedingly fertile.  The southern portion is covered with extensive cypress swamps, and where susceptible of cultivation is very rich and produces bountiful crops of corn, oats, tobacco, vegetables, and grass.  Some as fine vegetables as are grown in the State were produced in this county.  The county seat has recently been removed from Benton, in the interior, to Commerce, situated on the Mississippi River.  Population in 1860, 5,247.

 

SHANNON COUNTY

 

Is situated in the south southeast part of the State.  The physical features of the county are similar to those of Reynolds county-generally broken and well timbered.  The greater portion of the soil is well adapted to fruit and grape culture, and to be production of grasses and cereals.  The valleys are generally fertile.  The Current is a rapid stream, as its name indicates, affording an abundance of waterpower, which could be improved to advantage.  But few farms are opened yet; and some portions have been looked upon as unproductive, yet there are farms which have produced, per acre, wheat 30 bushels; rye 30 bushels; oats 30; potatoes 150; turnips 200; tobacco 1000 pounds, and an abundance of apples, peaches, grapes, etc.  This county is rich in minerals containing immense deposits of iron, lead and copper ores.  Some gold has been discovered in hornblende and quartz rock, associated with magnetic iron ores-as yet entirely undeveloped.  Copper ore, very pure, abounds on the Current River.  A boatload was shipped to Europe, some years ago, and sold in a crude state, at a high price. 

 

ST. CHARLES COUNTY

 

Is situated in the eastern part of the State, occupying a narrow strip of land lying between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, opposite the mouth of the Illinois-hence it is seen that two of the largest streams in America wash the shores of this county.  The dividing ridge between the two rivers is rolling, and in some places broken.  The bottomland is level, and exceedingly fertile-about one-fourth prairie and the remainder timberland.  There is about one-tenth-bottom lane.  The timber consists of white, black, Spanish, red and post oaks, hickory, walnut, ash, cottonwood, elm, hackberry, linden, sycamore, cherry, dogwood, red-bud, etc.  Of the upland, about two-thirds is tillable.  The soil yields abundant crops of all kinds of grains, grasses, fruits and vegetables.  Many portions are well adapted for stock growing-affording excellent meadows and tame grass pastures.  The town of Augusta would be an excellent location for a woolen manufactory.  All classes of businessmen, farmers and stock growers will find chances for profitable investment and lucrative business.  Population in 1860, 16,370.

 

 

ST. CLAIR COUNTY

 

Is situated in the west-southwest part of the State, separated from the Kansas State line, by Vernon and Bates counties.  The surface is diversified and rolling, with a desirable division of prairie and timber.  The soil is well adapted to most farming purposes, and admirably adapted for stock growing.  There is always an active demand,
at good prices, for all kinds of stock.  This county contains some iron ore, and indications of lead.  There are in this county 10,000 acres of unentered Government Land.  Population in 1860, 6,256.

 

ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY

 

Is situated in the southeastern part of the State.  The face of the country is rather broken, less than one-tenth bottomland, and about four-fifths tillable land.  It is an excellent grazing country, and stock growing have been the principal business of the farmers.  Good crops of corn, wheat, rye, oats, etc., are produced, also very heavy yields of all kinds of fruit.  Admirably adapted to grape culture.  Well watered with clear, strong springs.  Of minerals, there are copper, iron, lead, cobalt, nickel, etc.
All that is wanting is capital and enterprise for developing the mineral resources.  Mines are already opened in at least 25 different localities.  Available water power on the St.Francois, Big River, Tar Blue, Wolf creek, Back creek, etc.  One mill has been running on Big River for 30 years.  Five steam gristmills and three steam saw mills in
the county.  Iron Mountain railroad runs through the edge of the county.  The Cook settlement is one of the best neighborhoods, and located upon the most extensive and fertile tracts of land in southeast Missouri.  Population of county in 1860, 7,549.

 

STE. GENEVIEVE COUNTY

 

Is situated on the Mississippi River, in the east southeast part of the State.  The surface is generally hilly and broken-the valleys and river bottoms fertile and well adapted to all farming purposes.  This county has been settled for many years.  The town of Ste. Genevieve is the shipping point for an extensive region of country, and is connected with the Iron Mountain Railway by a turnpike and plank road.  The limestone and white sand from this county are of very superior qualities, and are shipped to considerable distances for building-and the sand for manufacturing glass.  There are also extensive deposits of lead in the county, and indications of Petroleum that justify investigation.  Population in 1860, 7,199.

 

ST. LOUIS COUNTY

 

Situated in the eastern part of the State, occupies the point of land formed by the confluence of the Missouri with the Mississippi River, and contains an area of about 530 square miles.  The surface is undulating and pleasantly diversified.  The county is underlaid with a bed of what is named by western geologists as “St. Louis Limeston”, well adapted for building purposes, as well as for the manufacture of lime.  There are also, in the northern part of the county, immense quantities of fireclay and hydraulic limestore.  The soil is generally very fertile.  The City of St. Louis-the Metropolis of the Mississippi Valley.  What can be said, in so small a space as this work affords, of this substantial, compactly built city-her numerous institutions of learning, and other public buildings, her hotels-two of which are unsurpassed anywhere, for size, cost or magnificence; her commodious churches, palatial residences, extensive manufactories, and all varied features that combine to make up a prosperous and thrifty city of two hundred thousand inhabitants?  St. Louis is built upon solid rock, the buildings are all of marble or brick, and her businessmen as a class, are as firm and reliable as the immovable rock.  Their business character, like their buildings, is based up a solid foundation.  The citizens are generous, hospitable, social, intelligent, liberal-minded, and need only the energy and enterprise of the Eastern people diffused amongst them, to place this city in the first rank among the great cities of this continent.  As a manufacturing point, St. Louis has no rival in the West, and scarcely one on this continent-as far as her natural, advantages are concerned.  With the abundance and variety of all the useful minerals in their purest forms; of fuel, of a good quality, at a reasonable price; of timber, in great variety; of the adaptability of the soil and climate of our State to produce wool and cotton, and with the unlimited capacity of this great agricultural State to supply all kinds of provisions at a low rate, for the support of a dense population-combining in so high a degree all these natural advantages, St. Louis is destined to become an extensive manufacturing center, nor is there any good reason why this city shall not become, in time, as famous as Sheffield, Birmingham and Manchester, in the manufacture of metals, and of cottons and woolens, and at the same time proportionately increase her already extensive trade and commerce. What are the facts respecting the growth of St. Louis, the past fifty years?  During that period the increase of population has been greater than the increase of New York City.  This has been too during a period when she has labored against all the discouragements entailed upon her by the thralldom of Slavery.  Now that Missouri is Free, and the new era has been thoroughly inaugurated, we anticipate for the State and for the city a bright, a glorious future.  Assuming that the reader is coming to Missouri, then of course to St. Louis to purchase his outfit for farming, mining, manufacturing, merchandising or house-keeping, he will then see St. Louis as it is, and he will therefore pardon us for not attempting to describe in detail, in a page or two, a city to which, to do justice, would require a volume. Is situated in the east northeast part of the State.  The general surface of the county is rolling or undulating, with one-fourth timber land, embracing oak, walnut, hickory and elms.  About one-tenth of the county is bottom lands, and probably three-fourths tillable upland.  The soil is well adapted to the culture of corn, wheat, rye, oats, barley, sorghum, hemp, tobacco, and all kinds of fruit and vegetables.  From the abundance of native grape vines, this is evidently well adapted to grape culture.  Numerous coal banks along Salt river and Ten Mile creek.  This county is unsurpassed for grazing purposes.  Good water-power on Salt River.  Very little machinery in operation.  Good flouring mills are greatly needed.  The county has a large school fund, and public schools are generally well sustained.  A salubrious climate with an abundance of excellent land at low prices, fertile, soil, and with all facilities for farming, stock raising and fruit growing, are inducements worthy the consideration of those seeking homes in Missouri.  Population in 1860, 7,718.

 

STODDARD COUNTY

 

Is situated in the northeastern portion of the State.  The northern portion is hilly and broken-the eastern and southern portion marshy and covered by swamps, to a considerable extent.  This county, as well as Mississippi and New Madrid counties, which join it on the east, suffered considerably by the earthquakes of 1811-12. 
The up-lands are not generally fertile, however, produce good crops.  The valleys and bottom lands are very productive.  There are extensive bodies of cypress in some portions of the county, and the whole county is well timbered-embracing all kinds of oak, ash, hickory, black walnut, etc.  Corn, tobacco, and all cereals grow finely. 
Bog iron ore abundant.  First rate winter range fin the swamps, and good facilities for stock growing.  Population in 1860, 7,942.

 

STONE COUNTY

 

Is situated in the southwestern part of the State, bordering on the Arkansas line-about three-fourths of the county timber land-ash, hickory, walnut and pine-the tillable land about equally divided between bottom and up-land.  Corn, wheat, oats, Hungarian grass, hemp, tobacco, sugar-cane, timothy, cotton, and all kinds of fruit yield good returns.  Native grapes grow in abundance.  This county is well adapted to stock growing or raising fruit of all kinds.  Excellent water power on the James Fork of White River, Crane creek and Flat creek.  Grist mills, saw mills and carding machines needed.  Some signs of lead ore, but no mines open yet.  Climate healthy-land cheap. 
Good inducements for farmers and mechanics.

 

SULLIVAN COUNTY

 

Is situated in the north northeast part of the State, separated from the Iowa State line by Putnam county.  The principal portion of the county is prairie, with an abundance of timber for all practical purposes.  The soil is fertile and adapted to all purposes of agriculture, horticulture and stock raising.  The county is well watered, some of the streams affording water power.  Stone coal is abundant, throughout the county.  For particulars as to capabilities of the soil, see Grundy and Adair counties, adjoining, on the east and west.  Population 1860, 9,235.

 

TANEY COUNTY

 

In the south southwest part of the State, bordering on the Arkansas line, is generally broken and hilly.  It is watered by White River and numerous tributary creeks some of which furnish water power.  The surface is covered with forests of timber, consisting of oak, hickory and yellow pine, some of the latter attaining an immense size. 
The soil is better adapted to stock growing and fruit culture than to the ordinary agricultural pursuits.  Both lead and copper are found in considerable quantities in the county, but no systematic mining done yet.  There were, in March 1865, 408,000 acres of land subject to entry or to location under the Homestead law. 
Population in 1860, 3,540.

 

TEXAS COUNTY

 

Is situated in the south central part of the State.  The surface of the country is generally hilly and broken, more particularly adapted to stock growing and culture of fruit and grapes than for general farming purposes, the soil being generally thin and sterile.  The county is heavily timbered with pines, oak, hickory, etc.  The valleys of the streams, though narrow, are fertile, and produce good crops of most kinds of farm products. There were in March 1865, 153,000 acres of land subject to entry, at $1 25 per acre, in this county.  Population in 1860, 6,071.

 

VERNON COUNTY

 

Is situated in the southwest part of the State, bounded on the west by the Kansas State line.  The surface of the county is undulating, with a desirable division of prairie and timber land-the former predominating.  The county is very well watered, the prairies and valleys furnishing extensive ranges for stock, and being remote from railroads, stock growing would probably prove the most profitable business that could be engaged in.  The soil is very rich, and yields abundant crops of all the grains, grasses, fruits and vegetables that flourish in this latitude.  Farmers and stockgrowers will find excellent land at very low prices, an intelligent and industrious people, and an abundance of coal, with indications of lead ore and Petroleum.  Population in 1860, 4,920.

 

WARREN COUNTY

 

Is situated in the east central part of the State, on the norhth bank of the Missouri River.  The face of the country is undulating-about one-fourth prairie, and the remainder timber land-the latter embracing the same varieties as those named in the description of St. Charles county, which joins it on the east.  The soil is generally fertile, and yields good crops of wheat, barley, corn, oats, sorghum, tobacco, potatoes, hemp, flax, clover, grasses, and all kinds of fruit.  The county is well watered with clear, cold springs and streams.  An abundance of excellent lime stone, and some indications of iron and lead.  Stock growing would prove remunerative.  Wool manufactories and tan yards are wanted.  The town of Augusta offers superior inducements for the location of a woolen factory.  With the Missouri river on one side and the North Missouri railroad through the county, good land at fair rates, so near to the best of markets, are inducements not to be overlooked.

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY

 

The surface is generally hilly and broken, covered with forests of the different varieties of oak, white and black walnut, ash, mulberry, locust, linn, cherry, sugar tree, buckeye, maple, pine, cedar, etc., but no poplar, beech or chestnut.  There is no prairie in the county.  The timber is not generally so good on the hills as on the bottom lands.  North of Big River the land has a grey or marble appearance, with occasional exceptions, while on the south, the general surface is remarkably red, resembling some counties in Virginia.  An immense body of fine timber, knows as “Pine Ridge”, extends about 25 miles east and west, with an average width of five miles, covered principally with most excellent pine timber-many of the trees two and three feet-a few nearly four feet in diameter, and upwards of 90 feet high, straight as an arrow.  Several saw mills are in operation, and companies have recently established works, now in successful operation, for te manufacture of turpentine, rosin, etc., for which there is an almost unlimited demand at prices that will justify the establishing of several similar manufactories.  There is an abundance of excellent water power.  Wherever engaged in, farming has paid well.  All kinds of grain grow well in proper localities, and fruit yields abundantly.  Stock growing is very profitable-ranges unlimited.  This county is particularly noted for its mineral wealth.  The first mining done in the State was in this county, and mining has been continued, almost uninterruptedly to the present time, and, though some of the old mines have been deserted, it is hardly probable that at any locality, the mineral has been exhausted.  As high as 3,000,000 pounds of lead, per annum, have been made in this county, according to returns from the 14 furnaces then in operation.  The county is traversed by the Iron Mountain Railroad, and affords superior inducements to capitalists or men of small means, who would make fortunes at mining or manufacturing.

 

WAYNE COUNTY

 

Is situated in the southeastern part of the State.  The face of the country is broken-probably not more than one-third of the upland is tillable.  About one-third bottom land.  The timber consists of pine, oak, ash, sugar tree, hickory, white and black walnut, etc.  Corn, wheat, oats and tobacco yield well, and meadow grass is not excelled anywhere.  Apples, plums, pears, grapes, all yield abundantly.  Lead, copper, and some other minerals abound in the county.  Grazing very good east of the St. Francois River, and on the border of the swamps in the south part of the county.  Splendid water power and good openings for saw mills. 

 

WEBSTER COUNTY

 

Is situated in the south central part of the State.  The general features of the county are rugged and broken-well timbered with pines, oaks, hickory, maple, etc.
The valleys and some of the uplands are fertile, and produce good crops of grain, and the hill sides and table lands are specially adapted to grape and fruit culture. 
Stock growing has proved more profitable than other branches of farming, and has received more attention.  The Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad, soon to be completed, will traverse this county.  Both iron and lead are found in this county.  In March, 1865, there were 193,000 acres of unentered land in the county. 

 

WORTH COUNTY

 

Was recently formed from the northern part of Gentry County, bordering on the Iowa State line, in the northwestern part of the State.  The face of the country is undulating and rolling-about one-third timber land, consisting of oak, walnut, hickory, maple, ash, elm, lynn, cottonwood, etc.  The soil is generally fertile, and
well adapted to the production of all kinds of grain, grasses, fruits, and vegetables-except peaches, which have been unsuccessful.  Excellent grazing county. 
Flouring mills and manufactories needed.  Lots at the county-seat will be devoted to mechanics and manufacturers, who will bring capital enterprise, and establish in business.  Also an excellent site for a mill, will be donated to any one who will establish a mill or woolen factory. 

 

WRIGHT COUNTY

Situated in the southwestern part of the State, upon the high table lands of the Ozark range, this county presents a great variety of surfaces, from the level or moderately undulating prairie to the rugged hills and miniature mountains.  The soil in the valleys and here and there on the uplands is fertile and produces very satisfactory crops.  Farmers have raised good crops of hemp-say 1200 pounds to the acre; tobacco 1200; corn 75 bushels, and other grains, grasses and vegetables in proportion.
The gravelly portions of the upland are well adapted to fruit culture, and particularly favorable for grapes.  Stock raising will always pay well.  Lead ore has been found at numerous localities in the county, but no mines opened that have been reported.  Population in 1860, 4,508. 

 

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