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

Knox County, Missouri
By Mrs. A. X. Brown, Edina



This fertile and beautiful part of the commonwealth of Missouri made its advent into her sisterhood of counties by an act of the general assembly, which was approved January 6, 1843. This act provided that, "All that part of Scotland County south of the dividing line separating townships 63 and 64 is hereby constituted and established a distinct county, to be called and known as Knox county."

Knox County was named for a soldier of the American Revolution, General Washington's chief of artillery, Gen. Henry Knox, of Scotch and Irish Presbyterian stock, afterward secretary of war.

For two years Knox County remained a part of Scotland County. During this period it was provided by legislative action that all moneys and dividends of money accruing to Scotland County should be equally divided between the two counties, and further, that the people of Knox County should not be taxed for the erection of any public buildings in Scotland County.


In 1845 the county was fully organized with metes and bounds as at present. The act for this provision was approved February 14, 1845. By the terms of this act the first county court judges of Knox County were Edward Milligan, Melke, Baker and Virgil Pratt, who met at Edina on the first Monday in April, 1845. The place of meeting was in the log building on the east side of the (now) square where the first post office was located.

 Melker Baker was made presiding judge; John H. Fresh of Newark was made acting sheriff; Jesse John, county clerk; Warner Pratt, assessor; and Peter Early, county treasurer. The bondsmen of the county clerk were Henry Callaway, E. H. John and Horace A. Woodbridge.

It is a significant fact that the first business transacted was the appointment of three commissioners to view a road. The commissioners appointed were Thomas Ferguson, John Black and Lewis Fox.

The road petitioned for was to extend from somewhere on the South Fabius to the road between Quincy and Kirksville. At this term of court other road viewers were appointed and township 61, range 12 was organized for school purposes.

The county was divided into four municipal townships: Benton, Center, Fabius and Salt River. Of the first county officers Judge Milligan is recorded as having made the first entry of land in the county (west half of the northwest section 32, township 63), dated November, 1830. This man was an Irishman, married in Boston, and lived in St. Louis the greater part of his life. His wife lived upon their property until five years after the organization of the county, but in 1850 she returned to St. Louis. Judge Pratt was from the Empire State.

He founded a family in Knox County, and while his descendants are widely scattered, the name is a familiar one in Knox County to this day. He operated a mill in Bee Ridge Township, known as Pratt's Mill. He died in California.

Judge Melker Baker was from Maryland. He was a man of powerful frame, of strong will, kind heart and strictest integrity. John Fresh was the son of James Fresh, the early pioneer. He lived at Newark.

The site of the present beautiful park at Edina was set apart on September 4, 1845, and reserved by the county forever as a public square. It comprised all of block 3. During the same fall a clerk's office and an office for public records were erected on block 2. They were of brick, the former 20 feet square and the latter 16x24 feet.

In November, 1845, a seal of the following description was ordered to be made: "A raised circle at the outer edge one-sixteenth of an inch in width, inside of which shall be engraved the words, Seal of Knox County Court, Missouri, and inside of this shall be engraved a buck sheep without horns, all of which shall be in raised work so as to present the words and devices on the front side of the paper upon which the impression is to be made."

In May of the following year (1846) Walter Ellis was allowed six dollars for erecting six finger boards in the county. In June a hundred citizens petitioned the county court to dig a well in the public square in Edina until living water should be reached. The court appointed Peter Early, Martin Baker, Jr., and Jesse John to superintend the work. Water was reached at a depth of one hundred and sixty-six feet, and that splendid well today, with a little engine, pumps water sufficient to water the teams, the year round, of thirsty horses that are driven to town.

The assessors' books indicate that in 1846 there were 384 taxpayers, in 1847, 679; in 1848, 686; in 1849, 701; in 1850, 766; in 1851, 1,044; in 1855, 1,255.

On May 7, 1845, the court appointed John C. Rutherford of Clark County, Walter Crockett of Putnam County and Walker Austin of Macon County as commissioners to locate the permanent seat of justice for the county of Knox in conformity to an act approved December 9, 1836. These commissioners made their report, locating the county seat at Edina on the second day of October, 1845.

John Thompson was appointed commissioner on July first preceding and was ordered to survey the county addition to the permanent seat of justice, and to lay it off in lots for sale: During the summer he was ordered to cut the brush and burn it and clear the streets of obstructions. John Thompson resigned the following February and Martin Baker was appointed to fill his place. By 1847 the lots were nearly all sold.

First Permanent Settlers

James Fresh was probably the first permanent settler in Knox County. Mr. Fresh was a Marylander and brought his family, consisting of himself, his wife and children, also three slaves, brothers, Abe, Dan and Dave, and settled first in Marion County, but in the fall of 1833 came up into what in January, 1833, had been incorporated in Lewis County, and settled on or near the site of the historic town of Newark. He selected a site for a home and without the preliminary of entering the land began with his slaves the erection of a cabin.

In the spring of 1834 Fresh built a water mill a mile west of where old Newark now stands. This was a saw and grist mill and was largely responsible for the influx of people into that part of the county soon afterward. Fresh built an addition to his dwelling and sawed boards with which to weatherboard it. He entered a large tract of land and neighbors soon thronged into the region.

Records show that John Watts and Robert Davis entered land near Newark in 1833, but it is not known that they made permanent settlement. The building of Fresh's Hill indicates the presence of settlers.

Somewhere in the fall of 1833 Stephen Cooper came either to the southeast part of Scotland, or the northeast part of Knox County. There he founded what was known as the Cooper settlement, which included lands in both counties.

In about the year 1839 Cooper and a man named Roberts erected a mill on the site of the present little hamlet of Millport. Cooper lived near Millport for ten years or more, when he moved to California. Roberts brought to the county four thousand dollars in gold, most of which he lost in the mill business. He finally died by his own hand.

In 1834 Joseph and Josiah McReynolds settled in Colony Township.

Samuel Manning settled near Fresh's about this time, also Osburn McCracken.

The year 1835 found Reuben Cornelius, Abner Johnson, Thomas McMurray, Thomas Price, Hugh Henry, Richard Von Carnip in the vicinity of Colony.

Richard Vou Carnip was the first of a hundred frugal and industrious people, of whom we now have so many, the Germans.

In this year, the Youngs and the Hawkinses settled in Jeddo Township and Robert McReynolds in Myrtle.

In 1836, Fabius, Jeddo, Myrtle and Colony townships received quite an influx of settlers.

In 1837 they thronged in and in 1838 the tide of emigration to the west having set in more strongly than ever the rich prairies of north Missouri were now attracting hundreds of home seekers.

It was in this year that the Baker brothers, James W. and Joshua W., and their father, Martin Baker, settled near the site of Edina, the present county seat. They entered the land that now comprises the Eyman farm and the Bowles farm.

Farther up on Rock creek Nathan Roseberry and James Williams were improving claims.

John Black and George Taylor also settled in this vicinity. It may here be stated that the laud in this vicinity was not open to government entry until 1840, but the settlers had a method of their own for obtaining land. They formed an association with constitution and by-laws, and the metes and bounds of each claim were recorded in a book kept by John Black. The "Squatters" pledged mutual protection one with another until such time as their lands should come into market. These claims were sometimes called "tomahawk claims" from the fact that the boundaries were often blazed upon trees. There is no record of "claim jumping" in those days.

James Fresh's Mill

The tide of emigration increased until in 1840 the population of what is now Knox County comprised some fifteen hundred people. The log cabins of the early settlers were found in the near vicinity of all the streams although the wide prairies were still unbroken. Newark and Edina had been laid out, two mills were running, one at Millport and one at Newark.


Up to the year 1845 the marriages occurring in Knox County were recorded in Lewis and Scotland counties, hence it is difficult to obtain a record of the earliest marriages.

In 1836 it is stated that Absalom R. Downing and Mrs. Susan Kelly (nee Fresh) were married at the residence of the bride's father, James Fresh, near Newark.

After the organization of the county the first marriage on record was that of William P. Marshall and Sallie Harrington. The ceremony was performed by William Saling, justice of the peace, on May 5, 1845.


With early settlers came preachers of the gospel. The first of whom we find any record was in 1836, the Rev. Geo. C. Light, a Methodist, who preached at the house of Hugh Henry of Colony Township. A class was organized at the same time. The Reverend Mr. Still, a Methodist circuit rider, preached in Edina in 1840.

The Reverend Mr. Shoats and Elder John Shanks, of the Christian church, preached in Knox County previous to its organization. The meetings were held in the settlers' cabins. Announcements of the meetings were widely circulated and the isolated and lonely settlers came for miles. Some came on horseback and many in the ox wagons, then in almost universal use.

The Gold Fever

In 1849 the gold fever broke out in Knox County. It will be remembered that the excitement produced at that time by the discovery of gold in California swept the whole country. The sturdy settlers were fired with the desire for gold, and hastily gathering together sufficient means to buy the necessary "outfit" when they should reach St. Joseph. A great many Knox County settlers, with iron courage, left their new farms, and often young families, for the terrible journey of three months' duration across the great American desert. Oxen were invariably chosen with which to make the journey, and the month of May the time to start. Then the buffalo grass was sufficiently started to support the cattle, which were herded at night in turns by members of the party. Some of those courageous men returned successful. A few are living in Knox County today, one, Custer C. Sharp, in Edina. But alas many succumbed to heat and thirst and disease; many were victims of the Indian's arrow, and some of the murderous assassin.

During the Civil War

Knox County was very much divided, yet the preponderance of people were for the Union. Early in 1861 Crockett Davis organized a company of secessionists at Edina. In the early summer, Union Home Guards began to form. The Edina legion was formed with E. V. Wilson captain, the Millport Company under Captain Murrow, the Antioch Company under Captain Northcutt and the Paulville Company under Captain Sever.

In the latter part of July the Home Guards gathered in Edina in considerable force. The armed secessionists were collected under Martin E. Green. He took up the march to Edina July 30, 1861. On the evening of July 30 his force camped at Troublesome, about four miles west of Edina. The more heedless of the home guards were eager for a fight, but wiser councils prevailed. Colonel Wilson was in command by sort of common consent and he ordered the evacuation of the town. He marched at the head of a portion of the men to Macon City, while many others dispersed to await further developments. Green's men came up rapidly and were soon in occupation of the town. It was found that the actual force of the enemy was far less than reported and when too late, it was found that the town might have been held against them, but with results not justifying the inevitable shedding of blood.

Green put out picket guards, patrolled the town and floated from a staff on the courthouse a flag new and strange to eyes only familiar with the Star Spangled Banner. That flag contained fifteen stars and three stripes. Green established a camp on the Fabius at Milltown, now a part of Edina. Green s occupation of Edina occurred July 30, 1861.

A few days before this, the first Knox County victim of the Civil War fell. This was Jackson Grant, one of the Home Guards, who was shot by William Everman.

On August 3, Colonel Green took charge of a force that was marching against Colonel Moore at Athens. He left a force at Edina under Capt. Frisby McCullough and Lieut. Col. Joe Porter. The camp remained at Milltown. Nearly all the battalion were McCullough's men, as the greater part of Porter's men were with Green. On August 5th occurred the battle of Athens in Clark County between the Union forces under Col. David Moore and the Confederates under Col. Martin Green. It was a complete victory for the Union forces and meant the occupancy of this part of Missouri by the Union people, although at no time free from molestation and trouble.

When the fugitives from Athens informed McCullough and Porter of the defeat at Athens of the Confederate forces, they evacuated the camp at Milltown and taking a circuitous route, again made camp in Knox County at Phelps' bridge on Salt River.

A few days before the battle of Athens word was sent to General Pope at Mexico of the condition of affairs at Edina. Colonel Worthington at Keokuk was ordered to organize a campaign looking to the occupation of Edina by Federal troops. Soon after this order was issued, Green was defeated at Athens and with all his force made his way toward Lexington. Hence this order was not carried out.

In August another company of Home Guards was organized at Goodland under Capt. Valentine Cupp. This company took part in an engagement at Blue Mills Landing, where Captain Cupp was killed. This company became Company F in the Third Missouri Cavalry.

In the latter part of March William Ewing led a band of "bush-whackers'' in the north part of the county. A part of the Home Guards were sent out to rout them out. They were said to be working in conjunction with Bill Dunn, another guerrilla leader. Accordingly Capt. Joe Cell was put in command of a scouting party to reconnoiter. When they approached Ewing's house they were fired upon and two of their number killed, Thompson Botts and William Spiers. The squad of militia returned to Edina with their dead comrades and next day a squad of some twenty-five or thirty soldiers took them to the neighborhood cemetery near Novelty for burial. As the burial party was returning it was ambushed at Allred's Hill, about two miles south of Edina, in the dusk of the evening. Two men, Sergeant Norcross and William Troutman, were killed and a number of others wounded.

On April 6 Glover returned with five companies of militia and orders from Schofield and Halleek of great severity. The country was scoured and some were killed. The deplorable condition was quieted and a better atmosphere was restored until the Porter campaign opened. In the latter part of June a skirmish occurred between Colonel Lipscomb and Colonel Porter at Cherry Grove in Scotland County. He followed Porter through Knox County but did not overtake him.

At five o'clock in the evening of August 1st Porter's men attacked the Union men at Newark, about eighty in number, Companies K and L of the Eleventh Missouri State Militia. They returned the fire and fled to the town, where they took refuge in the Presbyterian Church, Bragg's store and the Masonic hall over the store. Here they defended themselves as best they could until two loads of hay were backed up preparatory to burning them out. A flag of truce was sent demanding a surrender. The terms were they to be released on parole and give up their arms, tents, etc. Colonel Porter was a resident of the vicinity, and the Federal soldiers were his neighbors. When the mother of Jack Downing said to him beside the dead body of her son, "Colonel Porter, here is my son and your brother" (both were Presbyterians), he replied, "Madam, such are the vicissitudes of war." The Federal loss was four killed, six wounded and seventy-two prisoners. The killed were Lieutenant Lair and Sergeant Hancock of Palmyra, Company K, and Jack Downing and James Berry of Newark, Company L. The father of the writer, Joel Sever, was beside Downing at a window of the Masonic hall when he was shot. At that moment, Steve Middleton, a private of Company K, rose and, lifting both arms, uttered a touching prayer. The prayer was not the result of fear, but the expression of dependence upon God in the hour of peril. To Colonel Porter's credit be it said the conditions of the surrender were carried out with the exception of the clause respecting private property, but we must remember that the needs of the captors were very great. Of Porter's men eight were killed and some twenty-odd wounded. On the morning of August 2nd Porter, realizing that McNeil was in close pursuit, hired himself northward to effect a junction with Colonels Franklin and McCullough. Porter had now perhaps two thousand two hundred men. On August 5th they set out toward Kirksville, closely pursued.

On August 6th occurred the crushing defeat of Colonel Porter at Kirksville. After this there was no more bushwhacking in this part of Missouri. True, there were some skirmishes, notably the one at Cunningham's on the Middle Fabius, but this was a fight in the open in which Captain Ewing of the Confederates and young Bob Cunningham of the militia were killed and others mortally wounded.

The total number of men who were regularly enlisted from Knox County in the Federal army was six hundred and fifty. About six hundred more served in the enrolled militia. It is estimated that about one hundred and fifty Knox County citizens were regularly enlisted in the Confederate service.

Courts and Bar

The Medical Fraternity

A sketch of early life in Knox County would be very incomplete without a tribute to those noble men who spent their lives in prolonging the lives of others. Among them the name of:

Dr. J. H. Campbell stands out. He began the practice of medicine in Knox County in 1847, having studied under Dr. Wm. Armington in Decatur County, Indiana. He afterward attended the State University Medical School in St. Louis and received his diploma in 1849. He died May 27, 1905, at the age of nearly eighty-one years. He is succeeded by his son.

Dr. T. A. Campbell, of Edina

Dr. Alfred White was an early physician of Edina, much esteemed for his skill, and had a wide practice.

Doctor Barnett practiced at Greensburg over a wide scope of territory. He was born in Kentucky in 1835 and died in Edina May 25, 1884, at the untimely age of forty-eight years.

Doctor Lee practiced with Doctor Campbell

Doctor McKim practiced at Newark

Doctor Morris at Goodland

Doctor Magee in the south part of the county.

A medical association is in existence in Edina. Dr. L. S. Brown was its first president, a man much revered not only for his skill as a physician, but also for his character as a man. Doctor Brown was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, March 3, 1836. He began the practice of medicine in Knox County, Missouri, in 1851. He died in Edina April 17, 1911.

Prominent Physicians of Knox County

Dr. George S. Brown
Dr. T. A. Campbell
Dr. Henry Jurgens
Dr. William Morris
Dr. H. H. St. John
Dr. Humphrey
Dr. Northcutt
Dr. McReynolds
Dr. Arnett
Dr. O'Connor
Dr. Luman
Dr. Annie Brownlee

The Knox County Medical Association has been in existence for about ten years. Dr. Henry Jurgens is president and Doctor Luman, secretary.


Dr. Ed S. Brown
Dr. Charles A. Brown
Dr. Charles McKay
Dr. Humphrey and O'Connor
Knox County men engaged in this profession elsewhere
Dr. Alex VanArsdel
Dr. D. A. Rouner of Kansas City
Dr. Nickel Brown of Chicago
Dr. Emery Green of Kirksville
Dr. T. C. Brown of Clarence
Dr. Maurice Fowler of Brashear
Dr. Bruce Linville, LaJunta, Colorado
Dr. Andrew McBride, Carthage, Missouri.


The history of the Bank of Edina begins about the year 1865, when Linville & Wilson began a private banking business. It was organized under the laws of the state of Missouri in 1876 with a capital stock of $50,000 with forty per cent paid up. The charter of this bank was granted for twenty years. Its officers w ere Philip B. Linville, president; Elias V. Wilson, vice-president, and John Quincy Adams, cashier. This bank was reorganized in 1896 with capital stock of $20,000, and has $20,000 surplus at this time. The present officers are R. M. Ringer, president; C. R. Ringer, vice-president; C. B. Linville, cashier, and John W. Hayes, assistant cashier.

The officers of the Knox County Savings Bank are: J. W. Ellis, president; Fred A. Knapp, vice-president; E. O. Parsons, cashier, and Thomas O'Donnell, assistant cashier. The directors are: H. R. Parsons, J. W. Ellis, Fred A. Knapp and E. O. Parsons. This is one of the oldest banking houses in Edina. It was chartered in 1872 with Willis Anderson, president; Ed. J. Brown, vice-president, and H. R. Parsons, cashier.

The banking house of T. J. Lycan was founded by T. J. Lycan in 1891 as a private bank with a capital of $20,000. First officers were: T. J. Lycan, president, and V. E. Lycan, cashier. Its present officers are: P. A. Lycan, president; J. J. Honan, cashier; T. J. Lycan, assistant cashier.

The First National Bank of Edina was organized April 4, 1909, with a capital stock of $85,000. Its present officers are: Mrs. Laura Biggerstaff, president, J. M. Beal, vice-president; M. F. Cloyd, cashier, and P. K. Gibbons, assistant cashier.

The Citizens Bank of Knox City was organized in 1903, with a capital stock of $10,000. The officers are: F. H. Meyers, president; J. E. Burch, vice-president; A. Pettit, cashier, and M. R. Pettit, assistant cashier. It is a private institution.

The Home Bank of Knox City was organized in 1892, with a capital stock of $10,000. Its officers are: J. B. McKay, president; Peter Hone, vice-president, and A. B. Anderson, cashier. It is a state bank.

The Farmers' Bank of Hurdland was organized in 1890, capitalized at $12,000, as a private bank. Its first officers were: W. H. Buhl, president, and Frank J. Grassle, cashier. It was incorporated in 1912, its present officers being: John H. Black, president; Martin Humphrey, vice-president; Homer Black, cashier, and L. C. Shenimann, assistant cashier.

The Hurdland State Bank was organized and incorporated in 1910 with a capital stock of $12,000. Its officers are: William Delaney, president; B. F. Holman, vice-president; P. G. Delaney, cashier, and V. Delaney, assistant cashier.

The G. G. Morris Bank of Newark began its history in June of 1891. Its capital stock is $20,000. Its record is one of continued prosperity. Its present officers are: Stonewall Morris, cashier, and J. L. Keetler, assistant cashier.

The Farmers Bank of Newark began business in 1905 with a capital stock of $10,000. The officers are: Arthur Burk, president; G. S. Minn, vice-president; J. V. McKim, cashier, and J. M. McKim, assistant cashier. It is a state bank.

The Novelty State Bank was organized in 1903 with a capital stock of $10,000. The history has been one of continued prosperity. Its officers are: J. M. Epperson, president; W. E. Pond, vice-president; J. U. Townsend, cashier, and John B. Norris, assistant cashier.

The Bank of Plevna was organized as a private bank in 1905 with a capital stock of $10,000, with A. W. Hamilton, cashier, and Frank Meyers, assistant cashier. The present officers are: A. Pettit, president; C. R. Campbell, cashier, and Delle Campbell, assistant cashier.

The Baring Exchange Bank was organized in 1896 with a capital of $10,000. The officers are: J. H. Myers, president; J. F. Hayes, vice-president; C. S. Houston, cashier, and M. E. McKendry, assistant cashier. It is a state bank.


The first newspaper in Knox County was the Edina Eagle, This six-column folio was established at Edina, in 1857, by Albert Demaree. It was Democratic in politics. It ran for about a year and was suspended. It was succeeded by the Edina Democrat in 1858, owned by Robert R. Vanlandingham and edited by John M. Robinson.

In 1859 the Knox County Argus was founded by Warner Pratt and edited by William S. Bennington, school teacher, county superintendent of schools and poet. It died soon after the defeat of its party and was succeeded by the Herald, edited by Prank Daulton and Chas. Newman. They were Democratic, finally enlisted in the Confederate army and let the Herald suspend.

During the war Tom Reid and Dick Wirt got out, at irregular intervals, a sheet called the Rebel and Copperhead Ventilator. It was sometimes printed on brown wrapping paper and was in no sense a newspaper.

In 1865 John B. Poage and S. M. Wirt, having purchased the press and material, began the publication of the Knox County Gazette, This paper was Republican in politics. It ran less than a year. Its office equipment was bought by Alfred Cooney and Rev. Father D. S. Phelan, who founded the Missouri Watchman. In January, 1869, this publication was removed to St. Louis and is today known as the Western Watchman. It has always been Democratic in politics and Catholic in religion.

The Knox County Democrat was established in 1871 by William Clancy and Theodore Coony, the first issue being published on March 4 of that year. In September, 1874, Judge Clancy disposed of his interest to his partner, who later leased the plant to Griffin Frost, who purchased it after having charge of it for a year. Mr. Frost remained as editor and proprietor until August 17, 1905, when it was purchased by Mulinex & Son. On that date the name was changed from the Knox County Democrat to the Edina Democrat, It still holds that name. C. W. Mulinex, who was the senior member of the firm, is editor and publisher of the La Belle Star, at La Belle, Missouri, a newspaper founded by him on April 14, 1883, and has never changed hands. Clio H. Mulinex, the junior member of the firm, had charge of the Edina Democrat. During the present year the paper was sold to William Batchelor, from Fayetteville, Indiana, who is now editor and proprietor.

In 1878, a Greenback paper, the Edina National, was published by R. W. McNeil. The Greenback campaign was on, and was materially assisted by this paper. After a year or two, the patronage not meeting Mr. McNeil's expectations, he became the editor of a Republican paper in Minnesota. He died several years ago.

The Knox City Independent was established in Knox City by J. R. Horn, January 1, 1885. On May 1, 1886, he removed his press to Edina and changed the name of the paper to the Knox County Independent. This paper was afterward edited by Frank Sullivan, and subsequently to this by Frank O'Reilly, who sold the equipment to the two other city papers and removed to St. Louis.

The Knox City Bee, edited by Frank Yeager, is a neat little paper published weekly. It is loyal to the interests of the town, boosting earnestly for its fair and other enterprises.

The Baring Messenger, edited by G. W. Barnes, is a creditable paper.

The Hurdland Grit enjoyed a short period of existence.

On April 15, 1868, number 1 of volume 1 of the Edina Sentinel was issued at Edina by Taylor, Porter & Stephenson. It was edited by Gen. T. T. Taylor, who came to Knox County from Brown County, Ohio. In 1870 General Taylor became the sole proprietor and in 1873 he sold the property to J. C. Claypool. Mr. Claypool edited the paper until 1889, when he sold it to W. R. Holloway, who later transferred it to Robert F. Schofield, who from that time until June, 1906, edited it continuously, except for a few months when it was temporarily leased. It has been the sad duty of the present management to record the death of its founder, General Taylor, which occurred some time ago at Lake Charles, Louisiana. On March 11, 1909, the Sentinel, upon which Mr. Claypool worked for so many years, printed his obituary. He died at Ottumwa, Iowa, March 7th of that year. In 1906, Mr. Schofield, who was at the helm for seventeen years, sold the property to Dr. Ed. S. and Mrs. Amelia X. Brown, who are its joint editors at this time. Mr. Schofield is now a prosperous business man of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Highways and Railroads


The schools of Knox County in an early day were subscription schools. Although the state laws made provision for the maintenance of public schools, the provisions were not sufficient to keep the schools up for even six months of the year. During the Civil war the schools were closed. For some time after that period they were conducted by inexperienced teachers in poor schoolhouses, teachers often being required to "board around.''

Lyon Academy

In 1866 Lyon Academy was opened in Edina in the third story of the Pratt building. It was in charge of Professor Caldwell and was conducted some two or three years with considerable success. About the time of the opening of the Lyon Academy, the Sisters of Loretto opened St. Joseph s Academy in Edina.

Knox Collegiate Institute

The Knox Collegiate Institute was founded in Edina by Prof. Edwin W. Fowler in 1878. For three years he conducted a good school in the Winterbottom Hall. In 1881 he erected a commodious building, now known as Maplehurst and occupied as an infirmary by Dr. H. H. St. John. This fine school established here was then called the Edina Seminary. Professor Fowler remained at the head of this school for six years and conducted it successfully. Later, not being able to meet the financial obligations incurred, he forfeited the property and removed to the west. He was succeeded by the Rev. A. V. Francis who changed the name to the original one, Knox Collegiate Institute. He was a scholarly and refined gentleman and conducted the college successfully for a number of years. It was taken in charge by Mrs. Annie Ringer and Miss Ella White, under whom the name of Edina Seminary was resumed. These cultured women conducted the school for some years, when its doors were finally closed. The Edina School of Music was the outgrowth of this closing chapter of the Edina Seminary. This excellent school was founded by Mrs. Ringer, her successor was Prof. J. L. Biggerstaff, now of the North Missouri State Normal and his successor is Mrs. Frank Krueger, the present able directress.

Oaklawn College

Oaklawn College was founded in 1876 at Novelty by Prof. W. N. Doyle. This was a fine school, and was conducted by Professor Doyle for eleven years, afterward by Charles Cornelius for some time, then removed to Hurdland, where it was successively under the management of Professors Holloway, Simpson and Sever. The necessity for these preparatory colleges has passed with the present system of high schools articulating with the university. Hence there are none in existence in Knox County at this time.

Barino | Edina | Hurdland | Knox City | Newark | Novelty

The County as a Whole

Knox county, in the northeast part of Missouri, is in the second tier of counties west of the Mississippi River; and in the second tier south of the southern boundary of Iowa. Fully nine-tenths of the land is beautifully undulating prairie, diversified with streams whose banks are lined with timber which extends for some distance into the rich bottoms. The Fabius river, with its many tributaries, flows diagonally across the county, and affords ample drainage for the fertile uplands. The rich bottoms sometimes overflow, but this is being overcome, year by year, by intelligent systems of drainage. The surface is very slightly broken, the few elevations seldom rising more than fifty feet above the common level.

The soil is a clay loam and is extremely productive. It sets naturally in blue grass, and withstands long periods of drought exceedingly well, owing perhaps to clay sub-soil which underlies this region. The soil will withstand a succession of crops, but of course is better if given a rotation, and responds quickly to a year or so in grass or clover.

Com is the principal crop grown, but wheat, oats and other cereals do well. This county is naturally a grass growing region. Blue grass makes its appearance everywhere, and timothy is very profitably grown, for seed, pasture and hay. It naturally follows that stock raising has always been profitable and that dairying is a coming industry.

There is perhaps not another county in the state with fewer acres of waste land. Knox is the banner county in the number and value of mules shipped, and in her shipments of cattle and hogs she ranks among the first in the state. Edina, the county seat, has been known for years among horse buyers in the east as one of the best markets for that kind of stock in the west. In agricultural products Knox County was awarded the first prize at The Show You Congress at Moberly, Missouri, in 1910.

  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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