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One of the earliest settlements was Commerce, Missouri, an
early French fur trading post. It was long known as Tywapitty.
Under Spanish rule before 1800, Rezin Bowie (the brother of Kentucky
frontiersman Jim Bowie) was syndic of Tywappity Settlement. This was
established as a river landing by 1803, and residents formed the first
Baptist Church in Missouri here in 1805.
New Hamburg, the third town founded in the county, was
settled by a wave of German immigrants in the late 1840s, who came to this
country after the German revolutions of 1848. The first log church was St.
Lawrence Catholic Church. Sikeston, the largest city in the county
and the fourth settlement to be founded, was settled in 1800 and was laid
out in 1860 by John Sikes on the Cairo & Fulton Railroad.
An Act of Legislature approved on December 28, 1821
dividing New Madrid County into what is now Scott County. By the same act
Enoch Evans, Abraham Hunter, Thomas Roberts, Joseph Smith and Newman
Beckwith were appointed to locate the seat of justice for Scott County.
The county court was organized at the house of Thomas Houts in February or
March 1822. Judges were Andrew Ramsey, Richard Mathew and Thomas Houts.
The first courthouse was a small log building erected on the public square
at Benton soon after the town was laid out. About 1844 the log courthouse
was torn down and a brick building erected. This was replaced by a frame
building. By an act of the Legislature, passed January 26, 1864, the
county seat was removed to Commerce. In 1878, by a vote of the people, the
seat of justice was returned to Benton, and in 1883 the present courthouse
was built at a cost of $11,000. [Source: Goodspeed's "History of Southeast
CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES