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Crawford County, Missouri

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General Statistics.—The population of Crawford County in 1840 was 5,330. In 1850, 6,397—whites, males, 3,189, females, 2,923 ; colored, males, 144, females, 141. In 1860—whites, 5,640 ; colored, 183. In 1870—whites, 7,896; colored, 86. In 1876, the centennial population was, males, under ten, 1,530; between ten and eighteen, 880; between eighteen and twenty-one, 302; between twenty-one and forty-five, 1,426; above forty-five, 543; total males, 4,788; females under ten, 1,463; between ten and eighteen, 914; between eighteen and twenty-one, 307; between twenty-one and forty-five, 1,363; over forty-five, 497; total females, 4,526; colored population, 77; total population, 9,391. In 1880, the population was 10,756.


In 1850 the number of acres of improved land assessed was 26,910, of unimproved, 39,564; the cash value of farms was $278,175; of farming implements and machinery, $38,492. In 1869 the number of acres was 213,792, value, $924,848; town lots, number 588, value $3,720; value of all personal property, $396,812; total assessed valuation, $1,325,380. Taxes—polls, 1,029, $1,029; State revenue, $3,398.70; State interest, $3,398.70; county revenue, $9,554.50; total taxes, $17,380.90.


In 1887 the number of acres on the tax book was 460,692; value, $1,049,590. Town lots—number, 528; value, $96,945; value of real estate, $1,146,535. Personal property—horses, number, 2,984; value, $104,735; mules, 1,642; value, $60,915; asses and jennets, 46; value, $1,995; neat cattle, 18,511; value, $109,375; sheep, 4,695; value, $5,275; hogs, 19,462; value, $11,350; moneys, etc., $105,786; all other personal property, $115,330; total personal property, $516,511; total property, $1,663,046. Following the same rule as that observed in Franklin and Gasconade Counties, as to the actual value of property in Crawford County, the real estate is found to be actually worth $3,439,605, and the personal property $1,291,277, making a grand total of $4,730,882.


County revenue for 1887—State tax, $6,149.38; county tax, $7,267.05; courthouse tax, $661.69; county road tax, $817.67; school tax, $7,266.22; railroad tax, Benton Township, $772.09; Meramec Township, $1,787; Union Township, $1,562.62; merchant's tax, $1,844.30; total amount of tax levied for 1887, $28,128.02.


Railroads.—Crawford County has three railroads, the St. Louis & San Francisco, having a length within the county of 26.55 miles, and valued by the railroad commissioners at $264,440, including the buildings; the St. Louis, Salem & Little Rock Railroad, extending from Cuba Junction, in a southerly direction through the county, to Salem, in Dent County, and the Cherry Valley Railroad, extending from Midland to Cherry Valley Iron Mines.


The St. Louis, Salem & Little Rock Railroad Company was organized in 1871. The president was A. L. Crawford, of New Castle, Penn., and other members of the company were Thomas A. Scott, J. N. McCullough (first vice-president of the Pennsylvania Company) and W. L. Scott of Erie, Penn., now member of Congress, and of the committee of ways and means. On April 4, 1871, a vote was taken in three townships in Crawford County upon the question of voting township bonds to aid in the construction of this road, resulting as follows: Benton Township, to issue in bonds $15,000—yes, 81; no, 13. Meramec Township, $35,000—yes, 131; no, 6. Union Township, $20,000—yes, 86; no, 26. On the 19th of December, 1871, the county court ordered that bonds of the denomination of $1,000, bearing interest at the rate of 10 per cent, be issued for each of the above three townships, and placed with the county treasurer, to be delivered to the above named railroad company ; monthly estimates to be made by the engineers and reported to the county clerk, and bonds should be issued at the rate of 50 per cent of the work done, but not to be delivered in smaller sums than $1,000. The construction of the road was commenced in the spring of 1872. J. W. Blanchard was superintendent of construction, and E. B. Sankey, chief engineer. The road was completed to Salem by July, 1873, from Cuba Junction, forty-one miles, and to Simmons' Iron Mountain, one mile south of Salem, at a cost of about $1,250,000. It was operated by the St. Louis, Salem & Little Rock Railroad Company until December 1, 1887, when it passed into the hands of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Company, and is now owned and operated by that company as the Salem branch of the " Frisco " Line.


This county, or the townships in this county which issued railroad bonds, found it necessary to compromise. About the first of the year 1880 the holders of the bonds made a proposition to the townships as follows:


1. The townships to pay the judgments rendered against them on interest coupons, in cash, on or before April 1, 1880. 2. The county to issue compromise bonds, to be dated February 1, 1880, to bear interest at 6 per cent, to run fifteen years, and to be redeemable at the option of the townships five years from date, the new bonds to be for 50 per cent of the old ones. 3. The proposition to be voted on by the people of the townships. 4. Taxes sufficient to be collected each year to pay the interest on the compromise bonds.


The election was held January 27, 1880, and resulted as follows: Union Township, for compromise, 97, against 6; Meramec Township, for compromise, 137, against, 26; Benton Township, for compromise, 118, against, 12.


The length of railroads in each township, as given in connection with these proceedings, w^as: In Benton, 3.93 miles, value, $11,790; Meramec, 8.33 miles, value, $25,050; Union, 15.01: miles, value, 8^5,120; in Steelville, .56 miles, value, $1,680.


At the time the compromise was voted on the bonded indebtedness of each of these three townships stood as follows:


Benton—principal, $12,000; unpaid interest, $3,816; judgments, $1,288 ; interest on judgments, $137.38; total indebtedness, $17,241.38.


Union—principal, $20,000, unpaid interest, $6,360; judgments, $2,146.62; interest on judgments, $228.97; total indebtedness, $28,735.59.


Meramec—principal, $22,000; interest, $6,996; judgments $2,369.34; interest on judgments, $252.73; total indebtedness $31,618.07.


The total indebtedness of the three townships was $77,595.04; but by the acceptance of the proposed compromise the debt was reduced to $6,000 for Benton Township, $10,000 for Union Township and $11,000 for Meramec Township, an aggregate of $27,000, bearing interest at 6 per cent. The last of the railroad bonds will be paid in 1888, by the tax levy for 1887, and thus the county will be entirely free from debt.


The Cherry Valley Railroad was built in 1877. On July 30 of that year there were filed for record in the office of the circuit clerk of this county the articles of association of this road. The directors were W. Nichols, J. O. Perry, D. K. Ferguson and W. W. Ater, of St. Louis, and Don McN. Palmer, of Palmer, Mo., the capital stock being 60,000. The road branches off from the St. Louis, Salem & Little Rock Railroad, one-half mile south of Midland, and extends to the Cherry Valley Iron Mine or Bank, a distance of seven miles. Officers.—The various officers of this county have been:


Circuit Court Clerks.—James Harrison, 1831, resigned in 1835, and Carter T. Wood appointed; Henry E. Davis, 1836, resigned in July, 1840, and Carter T. Wood appointed to his place; Henry E. Davis, 1846; Lyle Singleton, 1847; James J. Halbert, 1856; Azro Emory, 1857; James B. Braley, 1865; R. W. Dunlap, 1867, and William C. Evans, present clerk, in 1874.


Sheriffs.—James Campbell, 1831; John S. Burnett, 1833; Mark Sullivant, 1835; Joseph G. England, 1837; Austin Clark, 1838; C. H. Frost, 1840; Joshua Sanders, 1842; Simeon Frost and C. H. Frost, Elisors, July term, 1842; Benjamin F. Nunnally, 1844; William J. Devol, 1846; William Marcie, 1849; Harrison R. Webb, 1850; Albert W. Johnson, 1854; J. R. Pumphrey, 1858; R. W. Dunlap, 1862; H. H. Pierce, May, 1865; Joseph Davis, August, 1865; W. H. Ferguson, 1867; W. W. Mattox, 1871; W. H. Ferguson, 1872; J. C. Whitmire, 1878; J. D. Taylor, 1882, and H. P. Farrow, 1886, present sheriff.


Prosecuting Attorneys.—Robert W. Wells, attorney-general, 1831; Robert A. Ewing, September, 1831; Thomas J. Givens, 1833; Samuel M. Bay, 1834; Philip Cole, 1835; John S. Brickey, 1838; E. L. Edwards, 1841; P. O. Minor, 1844; William Cunningham, 1849; John E. Davis, temporarily, March 1850; John R. Woodside, at the May and September terms, 1850; Peter Whittlesbury, at the special August term, 1851; William Smith, at the October term, 1852; J. R. Arnold, special July term, 1854; Julian Frazier, 1858; E. G. Mitchell, 1859; Isaac Warmoth, 1852; B. L. Ferguson, 1864; John W. Stephens, 1865; A. J. Seay, appointed for the August term, 1865; Elijah Perry, pro tem, July, 1866; D. Q. Gale, 1867; A. J. Seay, 1868; N. G. Clark, 1869; J. M. Seay, 1872; A. G. McDearmon, 1878, and F. M. Jamison, 1879.


County Court Clerks.—James Harrison, February, 1835; John B. Brinker, May, 1835; Carter T. Wood, August, 1835; Lyle Singleton, 1846; James J. Halbert, 1850; J. G. Anderson, 1859; G. W. Sanders, 1867; George W. Orine, 1874; Hermon Ferguson, 1878; David LaKue, 1879; Thomas K. Gibson, by appointment, November, 1880; Hermon Ferguson, 1881, present clerk.


Assessors.—Andrew Craig, 1835; William H. Phillips, 1836; Thomas Kinsey, 1838; James W. Jamison, 1840; C. H. Frost, 1843; Lyle Singleton, 1845; Martin Glenn, 1849. In 1858 the county was divided into four assessor's districts, and in 1859 the assessors were, for the First District, R. W. Dunlap; Second District, Isaac J. Hibler; Third District, J. G. Anderson; Fourth District, W. H. Ferguson. In 1859, First District, George W. Sanders; Second District, Preston Halbert; Third District, Rufus Hickman; Fourth District, N. G. Clark. In 1860 the district system was abandoned, and Thomas M. Halbert was assessor; William Harrison, 1866; Newton Jones, 1868; James N. Johnson, 1872; James H. Jamison, 1874; Elbertson Clouts, 1878; James N. Johnson, 1880; A. W. Key, 1882; J. E. Davis, 1884 and 1886.


Collectors.—Thomas Eldredge, 1878; died in November, 1880, and W. H. Ferguson was appointed; then George W. Sanders was appointed to fill out the unexpired term of Mr. Eldredge, and was elected in 1882 and 1884. Benjamin Lea, present collector, was elected in 1886.


Treasurers.—Joseph G. England, 1836; Wiley J. England, 1838; Azro Emory, 1847; Robert P. Jamison, 1850; H. E. Davis, 1862; S. F. Dunlap, 1872; John H. Wheeling, 1874; George W. Sanders, 1876; George W. Matlock, 1878; James N. Johnson, 1882; Eugene Trask, 1882.


Coroners.—T. B. Walker, 1842; I. J. Hibler, 1856; James R. Herrington, 1861; A. W. Cole, 1872; S. S. Harris, 1874; S. H. McManigle, 1876; Samuel J. Williams, 1878; J. P. Bowers, 1882; E. J. Johnson, 1884; Robert E. Jamison, 1886.


Surveyors.—M. W. Trask, 1840; William A. Butt, 1868; W. H. Ferguson, 1872; George Cresswell, 1874; L. W. C. Smith, 1880.


Representatives.—Joseph Weaver, 1832; Benjamin Harrison, 1834; John Duncan, 1836; Samuel Frost, 1838; Henry E. Davis, 1840; John Hyer, 1842; M. W. Trask, 1844; Levi L. Snelson, 1846; John Hyer, 1848; William J. Devol, 1850 and 1852; H. H. Webb, 1854; Lyle Singleton, 1856; Robert P. Jamison, 1858; William J. Devol, 1860; Robert P. Jamison, 1862; N. G. Clark, 1864; William Key, 1866 and 1868; John S. Doak, 1870; N. G. Clark, 1872; Newton Jones, 1874 and 1876; Joseph Crow, 1878; Frank B. Webb, 1884; Z. T. Maxwell, 1886.


Politics.—Political statistics for the county have been as follows:


For President in 1836 Martin Van Buren received 86 votes and William Henry Harrison, 59. 1840—Martin Van Buren, 264; William Henry Harrison, 249. 1844—James K. Polk, 367 ; Henry Clay, 237. 1848—Lewis Cass, 275; Zachary Taylor, 263. 1852— Franklin Pierce, 278, Winfield Scott, 240. 1856—James Buchanan, 434; Millard Fillmore, 460. 1860—Abraham Lincoln, 35; John Bell, 353; John C. Breckinridge, 192; Stephen A. Douglas, 169; 1864—Abraham Lincoln, 297; George B. McClellan, 307. 1868—Horatio Seymour, 431; U. S. Grant, 385. 1872—Horace Greeley, 677 ; U. S. Grant, 524. 1876—Samuel J. Tilden, 1,036; Rutherford B. Hayes, 754. 1880—W. S. Hancock, 1,099; James A. Garfield, 805. 1884—Grover Cleveland, 1,106; James G. Blaine, 1,053.


Vote for Governor: 1840—Thomas Reynolds, 250; John B. Clark, 243. 1814—John C. Edwards, 294; Charles H. Allen, 293. 1848—Austin A. King, 379; James S. Eollins, 308. 1852—Sterling Price, 215; John H. Winston, 173. 1856— Trusten Polk, 518; Robert C. Ewing, 403; Thomas H. Benton, 79. 1868—Joseph W. McClurg (K), 383; John S. Phelps (D), 433. 1870—Joseph W. McClurg (K), 360; B. Gratz Brown (L. E), 485. 1872—Silas Woodson (D), 708; John B. Henderson, 519. 1874—Charles H. Hardin (D), 844; William Gentry, 553. 1876—John S. Phelps (D), 1029; Gustav A. Finkelnburg, 759. 1880, Patrick Dyer, 799; T. T. Crittenden, 1 100; L. A.Brown, 70. 1884—John S. Marmaduke, 1,012; Nicholas Ford, 1,053.


Commencing at 1848, the first election after the State was divided into congressional districts: That year Crawford County was a part of the Second District, together with fifteen other counties, including Franklin, Gasconade and Washington. The vote of the county for Porter was 300, for Bay, 384; while the vote of the district was for Porter, 6,968, and for Bay, 8,394. In 1850, Crawford gave for Porter 359 votes, and Henderson (anti-Benton), 413; in 1852, for Porter, 194; for Lamb, 215; in 1854, Crawford was a part of the Seventh District, and gave for Caruthers (Whig) 402 votes, and for Jones (Benton-Democrat), 271; the district gave Caruthers 8,045, and Jones, 5,625; in 1856, Caruthers, 516, Perryman, 399, and in the district, Caruthers, 8,291, and Perryman, 4,883; in 1858, Crawford County, Zeigler, 150, Noell, 423; in the district, Zeigler, 4,596, Noell, 10,404; in 1860, Perryman, 326, Noell, 250; in the district, Perryman, 4,007, Noell 11,191; in 1862 Crawford County was in the Second District, and gave for Blow 120 votes, and for Allen, 400. The district gave Blow 7,154, Allen 2,984, and Nelson, 153. In 1864, the county gave Blow 489, and Stafford, 195; in 1868, Finkelnburg received 384 votes and James J. Lindley, 433; in 1870, Finkelnburg, 482, A. J. Seay, 306, and Van Wormer, 47 ; in 1872, Crawford County was a part of the Fifth District, and gave to E. P. Bland 705 votes, and to A. J. Seay, 513; Bland received in the district 9,974 votes, Seay, 8,820; in 1874, Bland, 874, Seay, 539; in 1876, Bland, 1,031, J. Q. Thompson, 748; in 1884, Bland, 1,100, W. Q. Dallmeyer, 1,019; in 1886, Bland, 1,096, L. F. Parker, 1,027.


In 1861 the votes for delegates to the State convention were for W. C. Pomeroy, 609, W. W. James, 568, John Holt, 266, R. R. P. Todd, 341, E. B. Headier, 148, Y. B. Hill, 78, T. T. Taylor, 66, S. H. Heoln, 2, J. Frazier, 5. For members of the State constitutional convention, November 8, 1864, Ellis G. Evans, 403, David Henderson, 402, S. C. Herndon, 40, R. P. Jamison, 31, R. P. Faulkner, 184.

History Excerpts from ‘History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford, & Gasconade Counties, Missouri’, The Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1888



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