Pike County Towns and Villages

The Laying Out of Towns

We have learned to accept as correct the dates of the "laying out'' of towns as shown in the published atlases. These are really the dates of the filing of the plats, while we are interested in the actual laying out of the towns.


Louisiana was laid out in 1818 and the plat filed December 10, 1819.


Clarksville was laid out in 1819 and the plat filed in 1826. Deeds made in 1819 from John Miller, who laid out the town and who was afterwards governor of Missouri from 1828 to 1832, are recorded in Book A of the county records. Many of these deeds from both places antedate the usually accepted time of the laying out of the towns.

Bowling Green

The same authorities give the date of the laying out of Bowling Green, as in November, 1826. As early as October 14, 1822, the general assembly of Missouri appointed Willis Mitchell, G. C. T. Trabue and William McPike to "superintend the erection of a courthouse at Bowling Green." On August 5, 1823, the building was completed and approved and the November, 1823, term of court was held in it. Not a person in the town now probably, but feels that its centennial anniversary is due in 1926, while the real centennial will be earlier.

The entry of land where Bowling Green now stands was made December 23, 1818, or nine days after the county was organized. John I. W. Basye moved to it May 1, 1820. The main consideration in location was the big spring, which is near the quarter section line. He regretted that he had to take so much prairie land in order to get the spring. He killed a bear at a big elm tree in the southeast part of the town between the home of Mrs. Albert Sutton and the brick church across the street. In St. Louis his home was the secret preaching place for the Rev. Mr. Clark and others from Illinois. Protestants were forbidden to congregate. At Bowling Green and at Louisiana, during his two years residence there, his home was again a preaching place and he organized a Sunday school in his home at Bowling Green. Anthony W. Cassod preached the first sermon there and was on the work two years. The sessions of the supreme court of Missouri, when it was an itinerant body, were held in this building, which stood where the marble yard now is, northeast of the square. The grand jury room was a loom house standing where Folk's house now is. Charles B. Rouse was the first lawyer. He was assassinated at New London. The centenarian, Levi Pettibone, married his widow.

Edmond Basye taught the first school on a rocky, now abandoned, point one hundred yards north of Champ Clark's house.

Miss Stoddack was the first person buried in the city cemetery. Mrs. E. G. McQuie, whose body lies under the quaint marble slab, was the second person buried in the cemetery. "Under this stone," they say, ''lies old Grandmother McQuie.'' Her husband was the first saloon keeper in the town.

Oliver Sherman was the first dry goods merchant.

Dr. Michael Reynolds was the first druggist.

Major William Pigg, in 1828, made brick for the second courthouse. The first courthouse was ordered plastered with mud and also the roof repaired in 1827.

Certain people from near Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Thorntons, Culbertsons, Pikes, Readings and others, known as the Bowling Green crowd gave the town its name. The two places are laid out alike.

At Bowling Green some of the best lawyers of the state commenced practice, among them Ezra Hunt, Foster P. Wright, T. J. C. Fagg, A. B. Chambers, James O. Broadhead, A. H. Buckner, Gilchrist Porter, D. P. Dyer, Samuel T. Glover, Elijah Robinson and John B. Henderson.


© 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