County Histories of Northeast Missouri
Part of the American History and Genealogy Project

Chariton County, Missouri
By Dr. John S. Wallace, Brunswick


Present Area and Original County

At a session of the legislature which met at St. Charles, then the capital of the Territory of Missouri, in the winter of 1820, an act was passed organizing the county of Chariton to embrace all the country west of the Howard County line to the eastern boundary of Ray County and extending to the Iowa line. The county was given jurisdiction for all civil, military and judicial purposes over a vast territory embracing the counties of Linn, Sullivan, Putnam and a part of Adair and Schuyler counties.

The present limits of Chariton County as defined by the legislature are as follows: "Beginning at a point in the middle of the Missouri River, where the line between sections 17 and 20, township 51, range 17 west, intersects the same; thence with the western line of Howard county, thence with the north line of Howard county to the sectional line which divides range 16 into equal parts; thence north to the line between townships 56 and 57; thence west with said line to a point where Locust creek crosses the same; thence down the middle of said creek to the middle of the main channel of Grand River; thence down said river in the middle of the main channel thereof to the Missouri River; thence down said Missouri river in the middle of the main channel thereof to the beginning." The county was originally organized with four townships, viz: Grand River, Buffalo Lick, Prairie and Chariton.

In 1840 the county was again divided into Missouri, Bowling Green, Brunswick, Triplett, Cunningham, Yellow Creek, Salt Creek, Mendon and Mussel Fork townships. These townships were composed of what was then called Buffalo Lick Township with one voting precinct located in Brunswick. There are now sixteen townships, towit: Brunswick, Bee-Branch, Bowling Green, Cockrell, Cunningham, Clark, Chariton, Mendon, Mussel Fork, Missouri, Keytesville, Triplett, Salisbury, Salt Creek, Wayland and Yellow Creek.

The area of Chariton County having been reduced one-third its original size to 749 square miles or 479,360 acres, one might think it has been shorn of much of its power and influence and that its present limits were too insignificant to furnish material for the compilation of an important history. It must be remembered, however, that the most noted events in ancient and modem times, transpired within the smallest territorial compass and it must also be borne in mind that this county was settled by a hardy race of pioneers, many of whom were noted in after years in the making of history of the state, some of whom had fought in the War of 1812 and many of them were descendants of the Scotch-Irish, whose forebears bad helped to make 'history in the Indian and colonial wars in this country, as did their sires in north Ireland and Scotland during the days of religious and political persecutions.

The First Settlers

The first settlers in Chariton County were the French fur traders and trappers who had a settlement at the mouth of the Chariton rivers and who gave the name to these streams. Lewis and Clark, while passing up the Missouri River in 1804, state in their report that the Chariton rivers were named by the early French explorers and fur traders. These rivers at that time emptied into the Missouri River at separate outlets, but later united as the Missouri, receded and formed one stream for more than a mile above the present outlet. In the latter half of the seventeenth century and the early part of the eighteenth century France made good her claim to all the territory west of the Mississippi River by establishing settlements and a chain of posts along the upper Missouri River. In pursuance of this plan Captain Etienne de Bourgmont, who had seen service in Canada and Louisiana and had resided as a trader for several years among the Missouri Indians, was commissioned as commander and with Lieutenant Saint Ange proceeded in the spring of 1823 with thirty soldiers in three flatboats, loaded with arms, ammunition and provision, up the Missouri River to the village of the Missouri and established a fort on an island in the Missouri River opposite the Indian village said to have been located five miles below the month of Grand River and called it Fort-de-Orleans, in honor of Duke Philip of Orleans, brother of Louis XIV.

Fort Orleans

The location of this fort has been a disputed question among historians for many years. We will give the statements of a few writers who locate it below the mouth of Grand River.

Stoddard in his "Historical Sketches of Louisiana" says that "Ft. Orleans was on an island in the Missouri some distance above the mouth of the Osage River." A similar statement occurs in "The Annals of the West."

In the journal of Lewis and Clark the location is thus mentioned: "June 19, 1804. They passed Deer creek and five miles farther the two Charitons, the first thirty and the second seventy yards wide when they enter the Missouri at separate outlets." They made five miles above on the 12th, nine miles on June 13, 1804, and at four miles above their last camp passed up a bend of the river, where two creeks come in on the north, which he speaks of as ''Round Bend creeks." Between the two creeks there is a prairie on which there once stood the ancient village of the Missouri Indians. Opposite there had been a French fort, now gone. Five miles above they came to the mouth of the Grand River.

Early maps show that the mouth of Grand River at that time was five miles above this bend. The burying ground of this tribe of Indians is located two miles east of the town of Brunswick and several of the mounds are still visible. The writer of this sketch has in his possession two beautiful stone pipes of curious design made of red pipe stone and many flints, stone axes and parts of a skeleton taken from these mounds. About twenty-five years ago on a farm settled by John Hibler in 1831, just two miles east of Brunswick, nine skeletons were plowed up in one grave, but many of the bones crumbled when exposed to the air.

Bossu's "Travels in Louisiana" speaks of the fort being near the village of the Missouris. DuPratz speaks of Fort Orleans being on an island opposite the Missouri village. Dutisne, who visited the Missouris in 1719, states that "it is eighty leagues to the village of the Missouris." John Bradbury's ''Travels" of 1811 says: "We passed the site of a village on the northeast side of the river once belonging to the Missouris tribe. Four miles above it are the remains of Fort Orleans. It is 240 miles above the mouth of the Missouri." H. M. Brackenridge says: ''At 236 miles there had been an ancient village of the Missouris and nearby formerly stood Ft. Orleans." Many other historians, however, locate the fort near the town of Wakenda, in Carroll County.

The first white settler in the county of whom we have any record was George Jackson, who came before the War of 1812, and located in the southern part of the county near the Missouri River and after the organization of the county was a representative in the general assembly.

Old Chariton | Keytesville | Brunswick | Towns and Villages

The First Circuit Court

The first circuit court that convened in the county of Chariton met on February 22, 1821, in the town of Chariton. Judge David Todd, the presiding judge of the first judicial court, being present, produced the following commission:

Alexander McNair, governor of the state of Missouri: To all who shall see these presents greeting: Know you that reposing special trust and confidence in the integrity, learning and ability of David Todd, esquire, I have nominated and by and with the advice and consent of the senate do appoint him circuit judge of the First Judicial Circuit in the state of Missouri and do authorize and empower him to hold said office with all the rights, privileges and emoluments therewith appertaining unto him the said David Todd, during good behavior unless sooner removed according to law. In testimony whereof I have affixed my private seal. (There being no seal of state yet provided.) Given under my hand at St. Louis the 5th day of December, A. D., 1820, and of the Independence of the United States the forty-fifth.

By the governor,
A. McNair.
Joshua Barton, Secretary of State.

The capital of the state was then in St. Louis and the state of Missouri had not been fully admitted into the Union, that event being confirmed August 10, 1821.

Edward B. Cabell was appointed the first clerk of the court. John Moore was appointed the first sheriff. Hamilton R. Gamble was appointed the first circuit attorney. In 1824, he was appointed secretary of state by Governor Bates; in 1857, he was presiding justice of the Supreme Court; and in July, 1861, was made governor of Missouri. The attorneys present upon the first day of the court were Cyrus Edwards, John C. Mitchell, William J. Redd, Joseph J. Monroe, John Payne, Andrew S. McGirk, and Hamilton R. Gamble. The following commissioners, appointed by the general assembly in 1820, to locate the county seat, Col. Hiram Craig, William Pearce, Baylor Banks, Richard Woodson, and Lawson Dennington, appeared and took the required oath.

The court met again June 25, 1821, and John T. Ryland, Dabney Carr, and George Tompkins were admitted as practicing attorneys. The commissioners appointed to locate the county seat made the following report:

That the permanent seat of justice for the said county of Chariton be fixed in the town of Chariton and that courts in the future are to be held in the brick house in the public square. That the deed made to the commissioners for the benefit of Chariton county is herewith submitted for your approval. We are with due respect,

Hiram Craig, Wm. Pearce, Baylor Banks. June 25, 1821.

The third term of the court was held October, 1821, at which time Abiel Leonard, P. R. Hayden, and Henry T. Williams were admitted as practicing attorneys. Samuel Williams, father of the late John P. Williams, was the representative in the legislature and had been one of the delegates to the constitutional convention. He died before his time expired and Gen. Duff Green was elected to fill the vacancy. James Earickson, Daniel Ashby, and John N. Bell composed the first county court. Edward Cabell was clerk of both county and circuit courts; also county treasurer, notary public, and postmaster. The first deed book was made by Mrs. Cabell, by sewing quires of foolscap paper together.

There was much confusion in regard to titles of land in Chariton County, as it was in the center of the military land grant set aside by congress as bounties for the soldiers of the War of 1812. Grants were also made in the county to those whose land had been destroyed in the New Madrid earthquake of 1811, and the ''vacant land," as it was termed, was scattered about among the New Madrid claims and the bounty claims. A great deal more land was ''located'' than was ever destroyed and because of their conflict with other entries there was much litigation. The military district contained but few inhabitants. The titles to the land could not be had and the land subject to entry was in detached pieces so as to prevent the formation of neighborhoods. The first sale of land for taxes took place in 1825, and was called ''Trent's Sale," because Alex Trent, the sheriff, conducted the sale. A large number of the military tracts were sold and the law required that the land should be surveyed by the county surveyor before the state would make a deed. In the spring of 1825, the county surveyor, Col. Henry T. Williams, while out on one of these surveying expeditions up the Grand Chariton River, in company with Maj. Daniel Ashby, Thomas Williams, John P. Williams and Henry C. Sevier, were visited by a party of Indians and one of them who had imbibed too much ''firewater" showed a disposition to fight. He brandished his scalping knife in a threatening manner and with a hideous war whoop made a rush for Major Ashby, who stood with an axe in his hand. When the Indian got near enough, Ashby struck him in the face with the axe with all his might. It was with the back or pole of the axe or his head would have been severed. Strange as it may seem, the Indian recovered, but for years the relatives of this Indian were skulking about Ashby's home to kill him, but were afraid to attack him openly and could never surprise him.

Pioneer Life and Customs

It will be observed that the early pioneer located his home in the heavily timbered sections of the county, as there were no prairie farms. The reason for this was obvious, for the logs could be cut and hewed close by where the cabin was to be erected. The land was cleared of the timber and rails made to enclose that portion which was to be used for cultivation of crops. These were the days of log-rolling for the men, quilting for the women by day, and corn husking and dances by night. The primitive log-cabin was the scene of jollity and good nature and true western hospitality was extended to all. The latch-string always hung on the outside of the door. Wild game, such as bear, elk, deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, quail and prairie chickens were plentiful and the rifle furnished all the meat the family required. Luxuriant grass grew in the forest and on the prairies and furnished pasturage for the stock in summer and hay for the winter. The hogs fattened on the acorns, hickory nuts and walnuts and wild plums and wild grapes furnished luxuries for the table. Many families used honey in the place of sugar. This article was very abundant, as bee-hives were found wherever there were hollow trees. Hunting bee-trees was a business much followed in the fall of the year, as beeswax was always a cash article at twenty-five cents a pound. Money was scarce and trading was done, by barter, exchanging one article for another. The Spanish dollar was the circulating medium and these were often halved or quartered for small change and called "four bits" and "two bits."

Keel-boats were used for bringing in supplies and as New Orleans was the nearest market, flatboats were built and this market reached once a year. Colonel Craig would build a flatboat every year on the Grand Chariton and with a cargo of bacon, com, tobacco, furs, tanned deerskins, beeswax and honey would make a trip to New Orleans with Andrew Thrash as pilot. When a boy I have listened to this aged pilot relate the many thrilling experiences on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers while acting as pilot on my grandfather's flatboats. They would return from New Orleans to St. Louis on a steamboat and Mr. Thrash would foot it from St. Louis to his home at "The Point," just below Old Chariton, and Colonel Craig and other members of the crew would travel by stage or on a keel-boat up the Missouri.

Physical Features

Chariton County is well watered by many streams, the Missouri on the south border being the principal one, and its tributaries, Brush, Salt and Yellow creeks, Locust, Elk and Turkey creeks, Lake and Palmer creeks, the Grand Chariton, Mussel Fork, Little Chariton, east and middle fork of the same. The streams flow generally in a southerly direction and, as the county is an undulating plain neither too flat nor too hilly, form a perfect system of natural drainage. In some parts of the county the land along these streams is flat, but by systematic drainage it can be made to yield large crops of corn, timothy and wheat. The ''divides'' between the streams or high table lands extending nearly the whole length of the counties is a rich black loam of vegetable deposit with a porous subsoil and is inexhaustible in fertility. In the bottomland the soil is a rich, sandy, black loam as fertile as the valley of the Nile, peculiarly adapted to the raising of potatoes, onions and melons, and it yields the farmers bountiful crops of corn, wheat, oats, barley, timothy and alfalfa. It is no unusual thing for a farmer to cut three or four crops of alfalfa each year, yielding two tons an acre, and for potatoes to yield 200 bushels and onions 400 bushels an acre.

The prairie lands of the county are generally rolling and quite fertile. The vast primeval forests of oak, elm, honey locust, walnut, hickory, pecan, hackberry, linn, cottonwood, and sycamore that grew on the uplands and along both sides of the various streams have been ruthlessly and improvidently destroyed. Many farms have large woods pastures set in bluegrass that grows as luxuriantly as it does in the celebrated blue grass counties of Kentucky. If the farmer is not a stock raiser, he can easily rent it out for grazing stock upon, at from $3 to $5 an acre.

This county is peculiarly adapted to the production of all kinds of fruit. Peach, apple, pear, apricot, plum and cherry trees grow rapidly, stand the winters well and yield bountiful crops of excellent quality. Grapes, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries yield bountiful crops also and find a ready market. Many of the farmers of Chariton county who devote a great deal of care and attention to their orchards are amply rewarded by selling the fruit on the trees to shippers for from $1,000 to $1,500 an orchard, the prices depending upon the number of trees, the yield of such trees and the kind of apples grown.

The type of disease has changed very much in the last thirty or forty years. The early pioneers suffered severely from the autumnal fevers, remittent and intermittent, and in the recollection of many now living it was no unusual thing to see whole families down with malarial fever with scarcely enough well ones to wait upon the sick. Now malarial fever is quite rare. That the health of the county has improved is due to the fact that the lakes and swamps in the bottoms have been drained and the lowlands are being filled up by the alluvial deposits brought down from the cultivated fields. Professor Koch in his studies in South Africa indicated that malaria is conveyed by mosquitoes. These swamps and lowlands were the breeding: places of these pests and by removing the cause the disease has in a great measure disappeared from this section. Pneumonia and typhoid fever are not so prevalent or so fatal as they were forty or fifty years ago. Whether due to a more rational mode of treatment or a modification of these diseases is hard to say.

Muster Days

In 1823, the legislature passed a militia law and it was in force until about 1840. Its purpose was to prepare the state for Indian wars or any other emergency that might arise. Those exempt from service were civil officers, preachers, teachers, millers and students in school. Under the militia law all able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five were required to organize into companies, choose officers, meet at stated times and places for drill and exercise in military evolutions. Company commissioned officers were a captain and lieutenants. Companies were organized into battalions; battalions into regiments with colonels and lieutenant-colonels, majors and other file officers; regiments into brigades with a brigadier-general in command; brigades into divisions with a major-general. The whole was under the governor as the commander-in-chief of the military forces of the state. Commissioned officers from colonel down were elected by the rank and file and the titles gave rank and standing and were eagerly sought and there was much electioneering and log-rolling to secure them. On the first Saturday of April, every year, the citizens of each township or, in thinly populated sections, the citizens of each county came together to be formed into companies and drilled for soldiers.

In May companies met for battalion drill, which lasted for several days. In October, drills were had by regiments and brigades. There was no evading the militia law and militiamen had to attend musters or they were assessed a fine. They had to provide and bring arms with them and have them in good condition. General muster day was the greatest event of the year and was looked forward to by everyone in the county. The wealthy officers made display of magnificent uniforms and popular heroes were cheered and hurrahed. On that day all the people from the surrounding country came in, looked at the drill and, as a result of getting together, friendships were cemented, debts were paid and new loans were negotiated. It was .effective in cultivating a fine feeling of pride in the state and her institutions. The old darkey was there with his stand loaded with ginger cakes, cider and spruce beer. There was horse-racing, foot-racing, wrestling and fist-fights, rough and tumble, to settle some family feud. Then at night there was the dance when they cut the pigeon wing, the double shuffle and winding up with the ranking colonel leading out the grandest dame. The theory underlying the old militia law was a good one. In time of peace prepare for war. But in practice it was cumbersome and failed in its main purpose of creating an efficient militia and was repealed by the legislature some time before the Mexican War.

Among the commissioned officers in Chariton County were Col. Hiram Craig, Major Daniel Ashby, Capt. John S. Wallace, Capt. Abner Finnell, Capt. William Herriford, and Lieut. Jerry Wilson.

The Mexican War

In May, 1846, the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma were fought and Mexico having declared war against the United States, great excitement prevailed and the patriotic people of Missouri offered their services to fight for their country's cause. During May, 1846, Governor Edwards of Missouri called for volunteers to join the ''Army of the West." General Sterling Price resigned his seat in congress and during the summer of 1846 raised one mounted regiment and one mounted extra battalion to join the Army of the West. Sterling Price was commissioned colonel and D. D. Mitchell, lieutenant colonel. Chariton County furnished one company of this regiment of seventy as bravo men as ever fired a gun or unsheathed a sword in defense of their country.

William C. Holley was elected captain
Daniel Herryford, first lieutenant
John Mansfield, second lieutenant
Golden Wassen, third lieutenant
D. Mansfield, orderly sergeant
Valentine Cupp, flagbearer
Hiram Lewis, bugler

This company was made up of men from all walks of life and from their youth they had been accustomed to the use of firearms and many of them were expert marksmen. They were men who had reputations to maintain at home by their good conduct in the field and there was an individuality of character in the men of this regiment found in the ranks of few armies. Their ideal and hero was their commander Colonel Sterling Price. Fatigue, hardships and privations of a soldier's life in a barren and inhospitable country brought on disease and death and only about half of the men lived to return to their homes. On their return to Missouri the people of Chariton County gave a barbecue on October 20, 1847, at Keytesville to the officers and soldiers of General Price and General Doniphan's regiments. The address of welcome was made by Dr. John H. Blue, editor of the Brunswicker, and the response in behalf of the volunteers made by General Price was very touching, as he told of their hardships on the march and their gallantry on the field of battle. The flag of the company, presented to them by the women when they started for Santa Fe, was unfurled amid the applause of the multitude and the sixteen bullet holes in this faded and tattered banner showed it had been borne in the front of the battle where the bullets flew the thickest, where 280 Missourians whipped 2,000 Mexicans led by their bravest generals at the battle of Canada and also at the siege of Taos. Colonel Claiborne F. Jackson, an invited guest, also made an address and spoke of the heroic deeds of these gallant Missourians.

California Gold Seekers

In the fall of 1848 exaggerated reports were printed in the newspapers of the wonderful richness of the placer mines of California and the lust for gold pervaded every community in the West. The most sober minded and incredulous men could not resist the infection and the winter months were spent organizing companies and making plans to start early in the spring for the new found Eldorado. The roads were crowded every day with a long line of white-topped wagons, to each of which were hitched from three to five yoke of oxen, wending their way slowly from east to west as far as the eye could reach. Many of those who left their families and peaceful firesides were doomed to disappointment and others never returned, having fallen victims to the epidemic of cholera that was raging in that year. Several companies were organized in Chariton County and among them was one formed by John S. Wallace, of which he was elected captain. In this company were Erastus Butler, a neighbor boy; William Shomens, Samuel Burch, and a colored man named Abe belonging to Capt. J. S. Wallace. This company started the latter part of April from Chariton county and on April 25, 1849, just three hours after the birth of the writer of this sketch, my father bade farewell to his family, mounted his horse and with tear-bedimmed eyes started for the far West and overtook his companions at Weston. He kept a diary of his trip and in its pages he relates many thrilling skirmishes with hostile Indians. He remained in California two years, returning on a sail ship that was becalmed in the Pacific ocean for several weeks, crossed the Isthmus of Panama, and returning home by the way of New York City. He found on his return that his wife, by her frugality and skill in management of the farm, had made and saved more money than he had accumulated in his two years in California. He lived only a few months after his return, falling a victim to Asiatic cholera on August 14, 1851, which disease was raging as an epidemic at that time in Glasgow.

Seekers in 1849-1850

James N. Staples
Cyrus Hutchison
Philip Hooper
R. W. Price
Andy J. Crockett
James Peery
Dr. L. S. Prosser
Tilly Emerson
John G. Moore
Ephraim Moore
Alfonzo Moore
Hiram Lewis
George Applegate
Frank Woods
Jacob Trent
T. H. Walton
Lisbon Applegate

Civil War


The first newspaper published in Chariton County was the Reporter, established in 1847 by J. T. Quisenbury. After a few months he sold the plant to Dr. John H. Blue, who changed the name to the Brunswicker. He continued as editor and manager until 1854, when he sold it to Col. C. W. Bell and Willis H. Plunkett.

In 1856 the paper was sold to O. D. Hawkins, who shortly afterward sold it to Col. R. H. Musser. After editing it for about a year. Col. Musser sold it to Dr. Henry W. Cross, who consolidated it with the Central City and the name was changed to Central City Brunswicker. It retained this name until 1866, when it was changed to the Weekly Brunswicker.

In 1858, Dr. Cross sold the paper to Robert C. Hancock, who was its editor until 1862, when it was sold to Dr. J. F. Cunningham. In 1864, Hancock bought the paper again, but in 1865 sold it to Winslow and Cunningham and they sold it, in 1866, to J. B. Naylor and Capt. William H. Balthis. In 1875, Naylor purchased the interest of Capt. Balthis and ably edited the paper until 1880, when he sold it to I. H. Kinley and Capt. J. C. Wallace.

In 1888, I. H. Kinley retired from the paper and the Brunswicker Publishing Company was formed and Hon. Perry S. Rader was editor until 1896. From 1896 to 1901, C. E. Stewart was business manager and from 1898 to 1901 Dr. J. S. Wallace was editor. In 1901 C. J. Walden purchased the paper and was editor and manager until 1903, when he sold it to Robertson and Patterson. In about one year Patterson sold out his interest to J. B. Robertson, who has since been editor and manager.

The Keytesville Herald was started by T. D. Bogie in 1871. In 1874 Bogie sold the paper to William E. Jones and he, in turn, sold it to J. H. Hudson, who in 1878 changed the name of the paper to the Chariton Courier. He sold the paper to Vandiver and Collins. In 1890 Charles J. Vandiver became the proprietor of the Courier and made it one of the most aggressive Democratic papers in the state. He continued as editor and manager of the paper until his death, when his widow and step-daughter edited and managed the paper for about a year, with much credit to themselves. It was then purchased by E. B. Kellogg, who at this time is editor and proprietor.

The Keytesville Signal was started by Joe K. Robertson in 1893, and in 1905 it suspended publication and the Rev. Franc Mitchell purchased the plant and started the Keytesville Recorder, with his son, Homer Mitchell, as editor. The Recorder is now edited by A. M. Child, who has had charge of the paper for the past three years.

The Salisbury Press (Democratic) was started by James M. Gallemore, June 1, 1871, and was consolidated with the Spectator, July 15, 1881, and was run under the name of the Press-Spectator by the Gallemore brothers. It is now owned and edited by Joe Ritzenthaler.

The Spectator was established in November, 1880, by R. M. Williams and Whitfield Williams and continued by them until July, 1881, when it was consolidated with the Press.

The Salisbury Democrat, Democratic in politics, is ably edited by Dismukes and Son.

The Mendon Citizen is owned and edited by E. L. Wicks.

The Sumner Star, Republican in politics, is published at Sumner by C. W. and B. F. Northcott.

The Weekly Swastika, of Prairie Hill, was started in 1908, with L. Roy Sims as editor and proprietor. The paper was formerly Republican in politics but is now an organ of the Progressive party.

Public Schools

But few counties in the state possess a larger school fund than is to be found in Chariton County, or a better system of free schools, and the grades of the teacher's show that they rank with those of any other county in the state. The amount of the principal of the county and township school funds of Chariton County is $200,000. The amount of the school funds received from the state for 1911 was $13,200.44. The amount of interest from county and township school fund for 1911 was $17,919.52.

The number of school children in Chariton County is 7,322, divided as follows: White male, 3,339; white female, 3,141; colored male, 434: colored female, 408. The school houses in the county number 145; school districts, 137; colored schools in operation, 12.

Bartlett Agricultural and Industrial School for Negroes

A coterie of Missouri philanthropists have been trying to solve the so called Negro problem by making of him a farmer, and they have furnished the funds to buy a farm of more than two hundred acres near Dalton, in Chariton county. Dormitories were erected through the generosity of the benefactors. N. C. Bruce, a Negro educator, is the principal and is a graduate of the Tuskegee Institute and Bates College. He obtained much of the support which started the institution and has been the prime mover in its organization. The object of the school, as stated by the promoters and trustees, is to give the Negro boys and girls a thorough and practical education along farming and agricultural lines and domestic pursuits, as this is the one occupation open to the Negro today which is not overcrowded. What the Negro needs most is vocational training, which shall enable him to make a good living, have a comfortable home, own a patch of land and do scientific farming. Students from every part of the state are admitted as fast as accommodations will allow and the Bartlett School is working toward the redemption of the Negro race.


Chariton County is well supplied with railroads, as the main line of the Wabash from Moberly to Kansas City passes through the towns of Salisbury, Keytesville, Dalton and Brunswick.

The Omaha branch of the Wabash forms a junction with the main line at Brunswick and runs through the western part of the county, passing through the towns of Triplett, Whittam and Sumner.

The Salisbury and Glasgow branch of the Wabash Railroad passes through the towns of Shannondale and Forest Green.

The Santa Fe Railroad, running from Kansas City to Chicago, goes through the northern part of Chariton County and passes through the towns of Dean Lake, Whittam and Mendon.

The Chicago, Burlington and Kansas City Railroad passes through the northwestern part of the county and crosses the Wabash Railroad at Sumner. 

  Northeast Missouri| Missouri Counties | Books on AHGP

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


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