Chariton County Towns and Villages


Dalton was laid out in 1863 by William Dalton and is located on the Wabash Railroad, seven miles east of Brunswick. There are several stores, one hotel, a grain elevator and a bank. The Bank of Dalton has a capital stock of $10,000. The officers are: President, Henry Gall; vice-president, William Bucksath; cashier, T. R. Hamilton.

Forest Green

The town of Forest Green is in the southeastern part of the county and was laid out by John G. Forest in 1873. It has several stores and a large tobacco factory. The town is located in the midst of the finest tobacco-growing section of the county and is on the Salisbury and Glasgow branch of the Wabash Railroad. For many years it has been one of the principal points for prizing and shipping tobacco.


Mendon was laid out in 1871 by Christopher Shupe and it grew to be quite a considerable village, but the Santa Fe Railroad, in running through the county, went two miles northwest of the town. A new town was started in 1887 and the old one was abandoned and most of the houses were moved to the new town, which has now some 450 inhabitants. The progressive citizens of the town have taken much interest in good roads and they pride themselves on having as good roads as any town in the county.

The public school building was built in 1906, at a cost of more than $5,000. It has four rooms and four teachers. The principals of the school for several years have been women. Miss Gertrude Hosey is principal at the present time, with Misses Kate Barry, Mary Stewart and Hattie Virgin as assistant teachers.

The Bank of Mendon has a capital stock of $25,000. The officers are: President, W. L. McCampbell; vice-president, J. A. Engleman; cashier, C. A. Felt.

The Mendon State Bank has a capital stock of $10,000 and the officers are: President, B. V. McKeever; vice-president, Joseph Ralph; cashier, M. M. Harmon.

There are two churches in Mendon, the Methodist church South with the Rev. C. Baker as pastor, and the Christian church with the Rev. W. C. Whitehouse as pastor.

There are lodges of I. O. O. F. and Rebekah, Modem Woodmen lodge and Royal Neighbors, and Knights of Pythias.


In the summer of 1825 there was quite a flood in the Missouri River and the Chariton Rivers overflowed the bottom lands and the town of "Old Chariton" was surrounded by the high water. After the water subsided there came sickness and death to many of the inhabitants of the town and surrounding country and the dreaded disease malaria decimated the ranks of these pioneers. There was a camp-meeting in progress in the Missouri bottom where the water overflowed the land and the people had to be rescued in boats. The first attempt to locate another town near Chariton was in 1831, when Dr. John Graves founded the town of Monticello, one mile east of Chariton on the high bluffs where it was thought the location would be more healthful.

The town of Monticello was beautifully located and many men moved there with their families and it was quite an aristocratic and social center. Among those who built residences in this place were Judge John M. Feazle, who also erected a large tobacco factory. Walker Lewis, Stephen W. Lewis, William A. McLure, Judge John B. Clark, John P. Morris, Joshua A. Belden, John A. Haldeman, and Judge James Clark.

In 1839 a seminary for male and female students was conducted at Monticello and the catalogue of the opening session of Monticello Seminary, which began the last Monday in July, 1839, shows that the school had a four years course and a splendid curriculum. It continued to prosper for eight years and finally reached an enrollment of nearly four hundred pupils. It was a noted institution of learning through-out the state. The school was conducted by the Rev. William Henry Lewis, as principal, an active minister of the Methodist Church South for more than a half century.

Alfred Mann, for many years a resident of Keytesville and a noted educator in this county
James W. Lewis, brother of the Rev. William Henry Lewis, were assistant teachers
Miss Martha W. Lewis, who afterward married Dr. J. J. Watts, of Fayette, and is the mother of Mrs. J. C. Wallace, of Keytesville, presided over the women's department.

Pupils Enrolled

Alfonso Moore, of Keytesville,
Miss Frances Lockridge, who afterwards married Alfred Mann, their son, Horace L. Mann, now resides in Brunswick
Miss Susan M. Fristoe, daughter of the Rev. Thomas Fristoe, a pioneer Baptist minister. Miss Fristoe married Jordan Bentley and now lives near Forest Green.

Pupils from Chariton County

Sarah A. Keyte
James Fallen Keyte
John M. Spencer
Benjamin D. Spencer
Marie E. Spencer
Julia E. Spencer*
Jonathan T. Burch
William V. Hall
James W. Lewis, Jr.
William Lewis
J. Lewis
James Moore
Adelia Campbell
Amanda Campbell
Richard C. Cabeen
Robert E. Cabeen
William T. Cabeen
* Brunswick


The town of Rothville is in Bee Branch Township and was laid out by John Roth in 1883. It is in the midst of a fine stock-raising and farming country and the large crops of corn and wheat raised every year prove the wonderful fertility of the soil. They have fine roads in every direction out of the town. The town has several stores and one bank. The Bank of Rothville, with a capital stock of $10,000, has the following officers: President, John P. Riddell; vice-president, S. A. Richards; cashier, H. H. Miller.


Salisbury was laid out April 1, 1867, by Lucius Salisbury (for whom the town was named), George W. Williams and O. W. Lusher. Judge Salisbury was one of the first storekeepers and also kept a house for the entertainment of travelers. He was elected a county judge in 1850, and was a member of the legislature in 1868 and 1870.

W. S. Stockwell was the pioneer lawyer and the Rev. William Penn was one of the first ministers of the Methodist Church South. The first church was built by the Cumberland Presbyterians. Mrs. M. A. Robinson was the proprietress of the first hotel after the laying out of the town.

Capt. James Herryford was one of the early settlers of Salisbury Township, a native of Virginia, but coming from Tennessee to Chariton County in 1817. He erected one of the first horse mills, the first cotton gin and the first distillery built in the county. He was the father of Capt. William Herryford, who was a member of the state legislature in 1854 and again in 1880.

Among the other pioneers who settled in this section were James Ryan, James Dinsmore, Peterson Parks, Samuel C. and Jonathan T. Burch, Judge Shannon, Jesse Rogers, Samuel Williams and Martin L. Hurt.

Salisbury has been visited by two destructive fires, the first June 11, 1877, when nine frame houses were burned. The second fire occurred June 28, 1882, and the loss aggregated $20,000. On June 11, 1872, a destructive tornado swept over Salisbury Township, coming from the southwest and destroying the amphitheater at the fair grounds southwest of the town, entailing a loss of more than $8,000. The annual fair was discontinued after this tornado. The Presbyterian Church was blown from its foundation. The Baptist church was also badly damaged.

Salisbury is beautifully located, standing as it does on an elevated ridge in the center of a high, rolling prairie surrounded by rich farming land and as far as the eye can reach are seen fine farm houses and barns, cultivated fields and bearing orchards, the whole presenting a scene of pastoral loveliness which is seldom seen in any county. Salisbury is at the junction of the Glasgow branch of the Wabash Railroad with the main line and it has grown rapidly until it has the largest population of any town in the county. The citizens are progressive and the business men wide-awake to the advantages to be derived from all modern improvements. They have a finely equipped electric light plant and water works, miles of granitoid sidewalks, finely graded streets and well dragged roads leading in from the country. It is a city of beautiful homes, with well-kept lawns, which show that the citizens are cultured and blessed with plenty of this world's goods and know how to enjoy it. It is no unusual sight to see more than forty automobiles on the streets at one time.

The public school of Salisbury was organized in April, 1867, having at that time two teachers and an enrollment of 108. The school was taught in a frame building with only four rooms. The Salisbury high school building was erected in 1902 at a cost of $18,000. It contains thirteen rooms. There are twelve teachers and 494 pupils. It is a graded high school and articulates with the University of Missouri and the normal schools.

Salisbury has three banks

The People's Bank of Salisbury has a capital stock of $25,000. The officers are: G. W. Harhart, president; Benjamin Hayes, vice-president; J. W. Grizzell, cashier; W. R. Tindall, assistant cashier; E. C. Ferguson, accountant.

The Salisbury Savings Bank has a capital stock of $30,000. The officers are: Joe W. Ingram, president; W. E. Sutter, assistant cashier.

The Farmers and Merchants Bank, with a capital stock of $25,000, has the following officers: J. W. Luck, president; George G. Johnson, vice-president; R. P. Asbury, cashier; E. J. Sutter, assistant cashier.

A number of wealthy, enterprising citizens of Salisbury organized an insurance company which has been quite successful. It is called the American Life and Accident Insurance Company of Salisbury and has a cash capital of $100,000. The officers of the company are: John W. Cooper, president; George T. Johnson, vice-president; C. C. Hammond, secretary; E. M. Williams, treasurer.

Salisbury has two large grain and milling companies and a large grain elevator.

There are two newspapers in the town, the Press-Spectator, started by J. M. Gallemore in 1871 and now owned by Joe Ritzenthaler and the Democrat, owned and edited by Dismukes and Son.

The various religious denominations are well represented. The Baptists, Methodists, Christians, Cumberland Presbyterians and Catholics each have a church building in Salisbury.

Prominent Physicians

Dr. J. A. Egan
Dr. B. F. Wilson, Sr.
Dr. F. B. Philpott
Dr. W. H. P. Baker
Dr. J. F. Welch
Dr. J. D. Brummall
Dr. Wilhoit
Dr. Hawkins
Dr. Banning


W. S. Stockwell
J. B. Ellington
W. H. Bradley
C. C. Hammond
Judge Fred Lamb
A. W. Johnson
Gilbert Lamb
J. A. Collett
Roy McKittrick


The town of Shannondale is on the Salisbury and Glasgow branch of the Wabash Railroad and was laid out by Charles Shannon in 1874. It has several stores and a good school building. It is quite a shipping point for both grain and stock.


The town of Sumner is in Cunningham Township and was laid out in June, 1882. It is located at the junction of the Omaha branch of the Wabash Railroad with the Chicago, Burlington and Kansas City Railroad. It has a good school building, several churches, a number of stores and one bank. The town is situated in the midst of a fine farming and stock-raising country and the citizens are live, wide-awake and greatly interested in the improvement of the public highways.

Dr. John W. Hardy and Dr. Andrew Lewis are the physicians and Attorney W. S. House is the only lawyer in the town.

The Sumner Exchange Bank, with a capital stock of $10,000, has the following officers: President, G. S. Taylor; vice-president, Dr. J. W. Hardy; cashier, J. T. McCormick. The Masons, I. O. O. F. and Eastern Star have lodges in Sumner.

The Point

An attempt was made in 1835 to start another town at what was called ''The Point,'' just east of the mouth of the Chariton River where a ferry was operated on the Missouri River. The ferry was owned by R. B. Thornton and Andrew Thrash and the town was called Thorntonburg, in honor of one of the proprietors of the ferry. Capt. Thomas Joyce, of Louisville, Kentucky, made claim to the land and after several years' litigation, gained title to the land and christened the town Louisville-on-the-Missouri. The proprietors of the new town were Thomas Joyce, Tilly Emerson and R. B. Thornton. Carson and Hays and John Mulligan operated stores there and Irving Hays operated a grist mill at the place for many years. Like Monticello and Old Chariton, this town has become a thing of the past, as the business from these places finally went to Glasgow after it was laid out.

There were no mail facilities west of Chariton for ten or twelve years after it was founded and no mail route on the north side of the Missouri River until 1833. James Wilson was the first mail contractor for carrying mail westward from Chariton and his son was the first mail boy to carry mail from Chariton to Liberty, Clay County. The next boy to carry mail was Charles Mann and he in turn was succeeded by John M. Davis, who when fifteen years of age, carried the mail for several months. It took six days to make the round trip from Chariton to Keytesville, then to Grand River, then to Cary's post office in Carroll County, then to Richmond and Liberty in Clay County. The mail westward could be carried in a small mail sack and the mail eastward, being mostly letters, could be easily carried in a pair of old-style saddlebags, as there were no newspapers printed west of Old Franklin, in Howard County. This boy, who received the munificent sum of $9 a month, his board and expenses paid, the carrier providing his own horse for carrying the mail 120 miles, afterwards became sheriff and county judge and one of the wealthy men of the county. He often spoke of the changes that had taken place within his recollection in the facilities and quantities of mail distributed over this route. In 1833, he could carry the accumulation of a week's mail in his saddlebags, while today more than a ton of mail passes daily over the same route.


The town of Triplett was laid out in 1870 by H. H. Hooper and John E. M. Triplett (for whom the town was named) and is located on the Omaha branch of the Wabash Railroad. It is a thriving town of six hundred inhabitants, situated in the center of a fine farming and stock raising country and with the finest roads for automobile traveling in the county. It has a fine public school building, with six rooms and six teachers, and is a twelfth grade school. The average attendance is two hundred pupils.

There are two banks in Triplett. The Farmers Bank has a capital stock and surplus of $15,000. The officers are: President, J. G. Bartoe; vice-president, B. F. Fleetwood; cashier, T. V. Phelps.

The People's Bank has a capital stock and surplus of $15,000. The officers are: President, A. C. Smith; vice-president, C. T. Collins; cashier, Wade McCallister.

There are two churches, the Christian, with a membership of about 180, and the Methodist church South, with a membership of 125. Each of these churches has a ladies aid society in good working order.

There is a Masonic lodge and a lodge of the I. O. O. F., Knights of Pythias, and Modern Woodmen of America. The Commercial Club has about forty members. The Triplett Chautauqua band, of fourteen pieces, organized in 1898, is one of the best in the county.

In 1906 a company was organized to sink a well for oil and, after digging to the depth of 1,500 feet on Wash Triplett's land, just east of town, work was stopped as no evidence of oil was found. An artesian well of sulpho-saline water was developed, which has fine medicinal properties and ''Siloam's Pool," near the well, is a popular bathing resort in the summer. On Frank Elliott's farm, just west of town, another well some three hundred feet in depth was sunk in 1906, which is also a sulpho-saline water and also has fine medicinal qualities. Triplett would be a fine location for a sanitarium. The Triplett Tribune is a hustling newspaper ably edited by Harry Spencer.


The village of Wien is located in the northeastern part of the county and is twenty miles northeast of Keytesville. On twelve acres of ground, donated to the Catholic Church, is located the Franciscan Monastery and Mount St. Marie's church. The monastery and church were built in 1877 and the membership embraces nearly one hundred families. Wien is a quiet and rapidly growing village and its location is remarkable for healthfulness, being high, rolling prairie almost exempt from malarial and typhoid fevers. The people of the village take great interest in education and maintain an excellent school for ten months of each year.  


© 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