Linn County Towns and Villages


Browning, located partly in Linn and partly in Sullivan County, was laid out by Wm. R. Robinson and wife, Jno. C. Stone and wife, Benj. F. Stone and wife, Francis E. Stone and wife, Benj. Mairs, Thomas H. Arnold and wife, and John Arnold and wife in 1872. The plat was filed and recorded November 20, 1872. The town draws patronage from a wide scope of country, has three banks and has always been regarded as a "good trading point.'' The population is 700.


Bucklin, in east Linn, is at the junction of the "Burlington" and the ''Santa Fe" railroads. The town was laid out by James H. and Mary Jane Watson and the plat filed and recorded January 1, 1855. Of late years it has been enjoying a steady, substantial growth, has two banks, good mercantile establishments, and has a population of more than eight hundred.


The town of Enterprise was laid out by A. D. Christy and wife. The plat was filed for record May 4, 1859. Situated about fourteen miles northeast of Linneus in a fine farming country, it once had several stores and a population of about one hundred and fifty. With the advent of rural free delivery, the post office was discontinued, the stores have been removed or closed and the business has been transferred to other towns located on railroads.


Grantsville was laid out by E. C. Hutchinson and wife and Wm. M. Moore and the plat filed February 12, 1866. It once boasted of four or five stores and shops and about one hundred inhabitants. The traveler now beholds only a small residence to mark the place where once was a thriving village.

Fountain Grove

Fountain Grove was laid out by F. R. Green and wife and Thomas McMullin and wife. Plat filed and recorded March 20, 1871. This village is located in the extreme southwestern part of the county on the Wabash Railroad. It now has one store, a stock of general merchandise and is a convenient trading point for that locality.


Laclede was laid out by Jacob E. Worlow and wife. The plat was filed and recorded August 20, 1853. It is the junction of the old Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad and the Burlington & Southwestern, both lines now a part of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. It has often been remarked that the site of Laclede was the most beautiful in Linn County for a town. The town is lighted with electricity transmitted from Brookfield. The population is 750.


Meadville was laid out by the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company and John Botts. The plat was filed and recorded February 27, 1860. It is seven miles west of Laclede and was formerly known as Bottsville in honor of one of its founders. It is in the midst of a fine farming community and has always enjoyed a good trade. The population is 600.

St. Catharine

St. Catharine was laid out by W. H. Elliott and wife and Caleb S. Farmer and wife April 28, 1856. In its younger days it had large flouring and woolen mills and these industries drew patronage from a large scope of country. With the loss of its mills which were not replaced and by reason of the rapid growth of Brookfield, its near neighbor on the west, St. Catharine ceased to enjoy the extensive trade it once had when it was a prospective railroad division. The population is 200.


Purdin was laid out by Peter Bond and Charles B. Purdin and wife May 28, 1873. Its first merchant was W. G. Beckett, still the moving spirit in the large establishment known as the Purdin Mercantile Company. It is six miles north of Linneus, located on the railroad, and enjoys an extensive trade. Two banks are located in Purdin. The population is 400.


The town of Boomer in the south part of the county


Eversonville on the western limits.

North Salem

North Salem in northeast Linn.

New Boston

New Boston on the eastern side.


Shelby, sixteen miles northeast of Linneus, are all thriving inland villages that enjoy good local patronage.


Linneus was laid out by Linn County, December 2, 1839, as the county seat. There seems to have been some irregularity in the location of the permanent seat of justice for the county. In the act organizing the county of Linn, John Riley, Ransom Price and Levi Blankenship, all of Chariton County, were named as "commissioners to select a seat of justice for said county." It does not appear that these commissioners ever undertook the duties of their appointment. On the 5th of February, 1838, the county court appointed David Duncanson and Doctor Thompson of Livingston County and James Stater of Chariton County such commissioners. They seem to have made a report at the April term, 1839, of the circuit court, which report was disapproved by Judge Burch. Later, however, Duncanson and Thompson selected the present site of Linneus and at the August term of court following Judge Burch approved the selection. On August 25, 1839, John Holland and wife conveyed fifty acres of land, the present location of the county seat, to Linn County, "for a permanent seat of justice."

The original name of the county seat was Linnville, but for some reason was changed to Linneus. John U. Parsons, a man of liberal education and a good lawyer, always insisted that it was the intention to name the town in honor of the great botanist, commonly called Linnaeus, but that the clerk had inadvertently written it Linneus. Another account has it that Judge James A. Clark wrote to Senator Linn that the county and its capital had been named in his honor and asked his endorsement. Senator Linn is said to have replied that while he did not wish to dictate in a matter of that character, yet he preferred the name of Linneus. In an act of the legislature approved November 23, 1857, the name of the town is spelled Linaeus. There had been some irregularity in the acts of the commissioners appointed to locate the seat of justice and accordingly in December, 1840, the legislature passed an act legalizing the location of the county capital, and also providing ''that all acts and proceedings wherein either Linneville or Linnaeus is used or occurs as the name of the seat of justice of said county shall be as binding and effectual as if the name so used or occurring had at all times been the regular name of the seat of justice of said county." Linneus was incorporated as a town March 2, 1856, and as a city March 7, 1863. 


© 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