Brunswick Chariton County, Missouri

The town of Brunswick was laid out by the Rev. James Keyte in 1836, on the northwest quarter of section 11, township 53, range 20, which at that time was one mile below the mouth of Grand River, and the original site was several hundred yards south of the present site on the Missouri river. The banks of the river kept caving in at every rise in the river and forced the business houses and residences to be moved back to the base of the bluffs. The Missouri River in 1875-76 cut through a bend on the Saline county side and left the town and the Grand River, followed the old channel of the Missouri river and empties into that river three miles below town.

The first house erected in Brunswick by the Rev. James Keyte was a log-house used as a general merchandise store. He also erected the first sawmill in the town. He was the first postmaster in the town and held the position until his death, in the fall of 1844.

Among the pioneer business men were: Peter T. Abell, Perkins and Cornwell, who had general stores

John Basey, father of Capt. D. C. Basey, kept the first hotel.

Captain Basey was the first white child born in the town.

Nathan Harry was the first saddler

Joseph Winters and Joseph Caton were the first tailors

Col. Peter T. Abell and Col. Casper W. Bell were the first lawyers to practice in the town.

Dr. Edwin Price, brother of Gen. Sterling Price, was one of the most distinguished pioneer physicians. His daughter, Lizzie, married Dr. Henry W. Cross, who was also a prominent physician and for several years edited the Brunswicker. R. B. Price, son of Dr. Edwin Price, is a prominent banker in Columbia, Missouri.

George R. Dupuy, Broady Barrett and Thomas L Beazley were among the early buyers and shippers of tobacco.

Adamantine Johnson and Thomas E. Gilliam were the first manufacturers of chewing tobacco.

The pioneer school teacher was Judge John M. Davis, who opened the first school in a log-cabin in Brunswick on June 19, 1840.

Brunswick grew rapidly and prospered until the time of the Civil War, as its trade was quite extensive and much of its business was drawn from the counties north and northeast as far as the Iowa line. It was no unusual thing in the winter time to see from fifty to seventy-five wagons arrive daily from the upper counties loaded with tobacco, which they would sell for cash and would invest the money in groceries and other merchandise. The building of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad took away much of Brunswick's trade.

The first church building erected in Brunswick was built by the Methodist Episcopal Church South and shortly afterward the Presbyterians erected a house of worship.

The first bank was started in Brunswick in 1856 and was known as the Brunswick branch of the Merchants' Bank of St. Louis. The president was Adamantine Johnson; George W. Outcalt, cashier; and William C. Applegate, clerk. The bank suspended business during the Civil war. Willis H. Plunkett started a private bank in 1865 and continued until the Chariton County Exchange Bank was chartered in 1877, with Robert H. Hodge as president; J. A. Merchant, cashier; and Frank Kennedy, clerk. The capital stock is $25,000. The present officers are L. H. Herring, president; T. J. Marshall, vice president; W. D. Magruder, cashier; L. O. Riley, assistant cashier.

The First National Bank of Brunswick was organized in 1889, with Capt. J. M. Peery, president; T. S. Griffin, vice president; and Lon Dumay, cashier. The capital stock is $50,000. The present officers are George W. Cunningham, president; L. A. Sasse, cashier; A. L. Friesz, assistant cashier.

Among the prominent Business Men who have lived in Brunswick and extended its trade were:

H. C. Brent & Company
R. H. Dickey & Company
Hathaway & Anderson
Brinker Brothers
Ballentine & Outcalt
Johnson & Company
Willis H. Plunkett
Merchant & Beazley
D. C. Basey
J. J. Heisel
Morgan Bowman & Company
Stark Mauzey
Douglas & Blue
J. W. Cunningham
Griffin Brothers & Company
William Rosenstein
Kennedy Brothers
J. T. Plunkett
J. M. Spencer
A. F. Tooley
Lewis Bosworth
John Strub Sr.
Strub Brothers
Strub & Meyer
Knight & Rucker
C. B. Wallace & Company
H. L. Mann
George Defani
C. W. Bowen

Among the Physicians who practiced medicine in Brunswick and vicinity have been

Dr. Edwin Price
Dr. John H. Blue
Dr. Henry W. Cross
Dr. W. H. Beddow
Dr. Groves
Dr. G. M. Brinker
Dr. Drake McDowell
Dr. I. P. Vaughan
Dr. James Allin
Dr. William S. West.
Dr. Lewis S. Prosser
Dr. C. T. Kimmel
Dr. William Watts
Dr. Clarkson
Dr. J. S. Wallace
Dr. G. W. Edwards
Dr. Thomas Martin
Dr. R. O. Davenport
Dr. H. E. Tatum

Brunswick Lodges

Eureka Lodge No. 73 A. F. & A. M. was organized August 23, 1845. The lodge room and all the furniture and regalia were destroyed by fire February 1, 1882. The present officers are: J. B. Robertson, W. M.; Dr. L. L. Cleveland, J. W.; J. I. Crossland, S. W.; Otto Benecke, secretary; and Dr. J. S. Wallace, treasurer.

Houston Royal Arch Chapter No. 37 was organized September 10, 1847. The charter was surrendered in April, 1851, and reorganized January 30, 1869. The present offices are: H. L. Mann, H. P.; G. D. Kennedy, scribe; Robert Morehead, king; Q. W. Rucker, C. H.; William Rosenstein, R. A. C.; J. M. Barker, P. S.; H. E. Tatum, secretary; L. H. Herring, treasurer. This is the only chapter of R. A. M. in the county, as the chapter formerly at Salisbury surrendered its charter several years ago.

Brunswick Lodge No. 34 I. O. O. F. was chartered June 9, 1848, and organized June 24, 1848. They have a commodious, well-furnished lodge room over the Presbyterian Church. The present officers are: R. C. Meyers, N. G.; L. M. Paul, secretary; A. B. Crismond, fin. secretary; J. R. Meyer, treasurer.

Attorneys of Brunswick

Col. R. H. Musser
Col. Andrew Harris
Col. Peter T. Abell
Benjamin Stringfellow
Judge John M. Davis
T. S. Dines
C. C. Hammond
Lee J. Davis
F. C. Sasse
L. E. Merrill
Charles Finch

Col. C. W. Bell, County Attorney, 1876-1880
E. Kinley, County Attorney,1872
I. H. Kinley,County Attorney,1872
Capt. J. C. Wallace, County Attorney, 1885-1890
James W. Davis, Member of Legislature, 1896
Judge Charles Hammond, Member of the Legislature, 1876
Judge Charles Winslow, Judge of the common pleas court and Supreme Judge in 1882
Ed T. Miller, now in St. Louis, and General Attorney for the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway

Brunswick Schools

The high school building at Brunswick was built in 1892 at a cost of $25,000. The directors are now building a new addition that will cost $8,000. The building is commodious, well lighted and heated, convenient and strictly modem. The class and recitation rooms are supplied with maps, globes and reference books, and a well-equipped physical laboratory and they are preparing to have a well-equipped agricultural laboratory. There is a library with several hundred volumes, and new books are added each year. There is a well-equipped gymnasium in the basement and the school grounds have been graded and a basketball court and cinder track prepared. An outdoor gymnasium, provided with trapezes, horizontal bars, swings, etc., is being constructed. This is the only high school in this part of the state equipped for all kinds of wholesome athletic sports. The high school is fully accredited by all universities and colleges. The total units credit 21½, being the highest in Chariton County by three units. Many of the graduates of the high school are holding responsible positions in the army, civil service, educational field, professional and business world. The principal of the high school is Prof. G. W. Diemer.

The B. K. Bruce graded school for colored children has a large and commodious building, costing $8,000, and they have two men teachers and one woman teacher. The average attendance is eighty-five.

The Catholic school building is situated on the hill just north of the Catholic Church. It has several large rooms and the average attendance is about forty pupils. The school is under the careful supervision of the parish priest, the Reverend Father Alexander, a kind-hearted, broad-minded man with a classical education, who numbers his friends by the extent of his acquaintance.

Commercial, Industrial and Agricultural

The steel bridge across Grand River at Brunswick is the longest free bridge in the state and was built in 1906 at a cost of $16,500, by contributions of the citizens of Brunswick and vicinity and appropriations made by the county court of Chariton County.

Before the days of railroads all the freight for Brunswick and its vicinity and the counties north came by steamboats from St. Louis and there were from fifty to sixty boats running on the Missouri River every year. The number of steamboat arrivals and departures at Brunswick for on" year was 534 and one boat alone that year made forty-four landings at this wharf. Now it is a rare thing to have a steamboat land at Brunswick.

One of the principal manufacturing establishments in Brunswick is the Brunswick Tobacco Company, owned and managed by T. W. Jennings and J. M. Barker, an independent concern that has no connection with any of the consolidated American tobacco companies. They manufacture both chewing and smoking tobacco, employing about fifty or sixty hands, and have an extensive trade for their products all over this state and also a large business in Iowa and Kansas. The tobacco production in Chariton County during the past few years is due, in a great measure, to the encouragement of this tobacco, manufacturing company and has more than kept pace with the increase in other farm crops of the state, no other crop having shown such a marked increase in acreage, production and value. They imported the White Burley tobacco seed from Kentucky' and distributed the seed to the farmers and assured them the highest market price on all they raised. In 1875 Chariton County produced over 15,000,000 pounds of tobacco, but the low prices prevailing from that time until about 1905 caused the farmers to almost quit raising the weed. The efforts on the part of these manufacturers to encourage the growing of tobacco in this county have met with splendid success and in 1911 Chariton County was second in the state in the production of tobacco, having raised in that year 1,533,997 pounds, valued at $169,000 and realizing to the farmer from $100 to $250 an acre. The soil in many parts of the county is peculiarly adapted to the raising of the White Burley tobacco, as the ridges where the white oak and pawpaw grow produce that beautiful golden yellow and ''piebald'' tobacco leaves that are so popular with manufacturers of chewing and smoking tobacco.

Another important industry located in Brunswick is the Brunswick Brick and Tile Company. Started in 1886 on a small scale, it has grown and prospered from year to year until the present output annually is about 500,000 bricks and 250,000 tiles of all sizes. They employ from eighteen to twenty persons and to the general manager, L. Kinkhorst, and the foreman, A. C. Salter, is due the splendid success of this enterprise. The large clay hill just two blocks north of the tile factory furnishes an inexhaustible supply of fine material for the manufacture of both brick and tile.

Farmers in Chariton County who own low land or swamp land, unfit for cultivation, find that after properly ditching and tile draining this kind of soil the value of the land is enhanced three or four fold.

The Owen Grain and Milling Company, owned by Walter S. Owen, is one of Brunswick's thriving enterprises, with a capacity of turning out daily 125 barrels of flour and 100 barrels of meal and shipping annually over 80,000 bushels of wheat and more than 100,000 bushels of com. This company stands high for fair dealing and they enjoy not only a splendid trade at home, but also throughout Chariton and neighboring counties their products of flour and meal are rated as the best.

The Brunswick Elevator Company, owned by Cashman Brothers, also ship from this place annually some 50,000 bushels of wheat and more than 100,000 bushels of corn.

Brunswick has an excellent telephone system and a splendidly equipped electric light and water works company, the latter supplying an abundance of water to stores and residences and serves as a protection in case of fire. 


© Missouri American History and Genealogy Project
Created August 16, 2017 by Judy White

Source: History of Northeast Missouri, edited by Walter Williams, Volume I, Lewis Publishing Company, 1913