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The county was organized in 1818 and is named for Founding
Father Benjamin Franklin.
The county seat is Union.
succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples, this area was populated by the
historic Osage tribe at the time of European encounter. The region was
first settled by Europeans during the rule of the Spanish Empire. The
Spanish log fort San Juan del Misuri (1796â€“1803) was built in
present-day Washington. After the American Revolutionary War, migrants
from the new United States started moving West. Among them were the family
and followers of Daniel Boone, an explorer from Kentucky who settled the
area starting in 1799. For the next two decades, most settlers came from
the Upper South, especially Kentucky and Virginia, bringing their slaves
with them to work the land.
In 1833 substantial numbers of German
immigrant families settled in the area, and soon they outnumbered the
slaveowners. The Germans opposed slavery, and their descendants became
strong supporters of the Union during the U.S. Civil War. The Confederate
General Sterling Price led his troops in ransacking this area during the
war when guerrilla warfare engulfed many areas of the state.
the war the county was served by steamboats moving freight and passenger
traffic on the Missouri River. Later it also became a railroad
transportation center. Manufacturing industries were established at the
end of the Civil War and successive ones have continued.
Prohibition, Missouri was the second-largest wine-producing state in the
nation. Everything was closed down except for limited production of wine
allowed for religious purposes. The state's wine industry had to be
completely rebuilt, which has been taking place since the
Meramac Caverns are located in Stanton.
Berger * Gerald * New Haven
* Pacific * St. Clair * Sullivan (partial) * Union (county seat) *
Leslie * Miramiguoa Park *
Oak Grove Village * Parkway
Gray Summit * Villa Ridge
Beaufort * Catawissa * Labadie * Lonedell *
Luebbering * Moselle
* Noser Mill * Robertsville * St. Albans * Spring
Bluff * Stanton