Schuyler County Towns and Villages


The little town of Tippecanoe was established a number of years before Schuyler County was organized and was the first town made in the present county. The little village was situated about two and one-half miles southeast of Lancaster on the land now owned by Lot Farris. The town prospered for a number of years, but after Lancaster was established, Tippecanoe began to go down and there are now no remains of the once busy little town.

The business men of the community desired to establish a county seat and two commissioners were appointed to select the location. They met in 1845 in Tippecanoe at the home of John Jones, grandfather of T. G. Neeley, who lives now in Lancaster, and selected the present location. The site selected was bounded on the north by North Street, on the west by Linn Street, on the south by Madison Street, and on the east by Liberty Street. On June 16, 1845, Edwin French entered the land thus chosen, as it was government land, and conveyed it to Schuyler County for the location of the county seat. The county court at its special term, June, 1845, made the following entry on its record: "Ordered by the court that the seat of justice selected by the county of Schuyler shall be known and called by the name of Lancaster.'' The name was chosen by Robert S. Neeley in honor of his native town, Lancaster, Ohio. Edwin French was appointed commissioner and was ordered to lay off the site in squares, blocks, lots, streets, and alleys, and to offer the lots for sale. The next commissioner was James Bryant, who in turn was succeeded by William S. Thatcher.

At the July term of court, 1851, it was found that the full amount derived from the sale of lots up to that date was $1,685. No considerable amount was ever afterward added to the fund, the valuable lots having been nearly all sold.


Lancaster is nearly the highest point in the county. It is about one hundred feet higher than Downing, which is a few miles to the east. Good water is easily obtained by digging from ten to forty feet.

The first house built in Lancaster was a log cabin, built by Thomas Bryant, in the southeast part of town just east of where Charles Decker's house now stands. It was in this house in July, 1845, that the first session of the county court was held in the established county seat.

One of the first store-buildings was built by James Bryant. It was a log building and is still standing on the northeast corner of the square. He also put up a hotel near the store.

Thomas McCormick was another early merchant; also William Buford and Shelton Grimes, who brought on a stock of goods and opened a store.

James Cochrane opened the first grocery store in the town in a one-story, log house on the southeast corner of the square.

Yelverton Payton established a tanyard near where W. P. Hall's pond now is, on what is known as the Charley Bunch farm.

In 1848 Asa Leedom settled in Lancaster and opened a tailor shop.

Dr. Jason Brown, father of Mrs. Charley Bunch, moved to Lancaster in 1856 and "Uncle" George Melvin, one of the oldest settlers, living at the present time and at one time an efficient postmaster, moved to town in 1853.

In 1856 Wesley Parrell, father of Web and Dick Farrell and Mrs. George Grist, Lancaster citizens, came from Maryland and established a tanyard in the south part of town near the railroad.

The first Fourth of July celebration was held in the year 1845, about one-half mile north of the original town. The grove is now gone and the land is now owned by Chas. Geery. Isaac N. Ebey, first circuit clerk, delivered the oration. Dr. George W. Johnson read the Declaration of Independence, William Blansett beat the drum, and all enjoyed themselves.

Lancaster was incorporated by a special act of the legislature in 1857.

Queen City

Queen City, on the Wabash Railroad, is about eight miles south of Glenwood and four miles north of Greentop. It was laid out in 1867 by George W. Wilson. The first house was built by Doctor Wilson and the first hotel by Henry Bartlett. The town was incorporated July 18, 1870.

Downing is on the Keokuk & Western Railroad, three-fourths of a mile from the eastern boundary of Schuyler County. The town was laid out in 1872. In 1874 Doctor Petty's drug store was burned, caused by the explosion of a keg of powder which had been too near the fire.


Glenwood is situated on the Wabash Railroad about five miles south of the state boundary line on the north and about two and one-half miles west of Lancaster. It was laid out in 1868 by Stiles and Alexander Forsha. The first dwelling house in the town was built by John B. Glaze in October, 1868. A number of dwellings were built soon after this. In 1869 a school house was built. In 1870 a large woolen factory was built and started by Buford and Neeley. About the same time the foundry and machine shop of Dunbar brothers was erected. The Glenwood mill burned in 1870. Glenwood was incorporated May 4, 1869.


Greentop is a village of Schuyler County, situated on the Wabash Railroad about fourteen miles from Lancaster. The town was laid out in 1855, and in 1857 a post office was established. Greentop is one of the oldest towns in Schuyler County. It was incorporated in February, 1867.


Coatsville is on the Wabash Railroad at the state line. The town was laid out in 1869 by Alexander H. Wells, John B. Holbert, and James T. Guinn. The town was incorporated February 8, 1870, with James Dowis, J. F. Fenton, Joshua Simmons, J. A. Hughes, and John Bowling as trustees.

The County Today

Schuyler is the third county west from the Mississippi River on the northern tier of counties in the state of Missouri. It is bounded on the north by Appanoose and Davis counties, Iowa; on the east, by Scotland County; on the south by Adair; and on the west by the Chariton River, which separates it from Putnam County. In form it is nearly square. Its area is about 320 square miles or 205,000 acres. It varies in its surface features from the broken to rolling and even flat land. In the northern part of the county the rolling character seems to predominate. The southeastern corner of the county is broken, rising into rough ridges and hills in the vicinity of streams and extending a considerable distance on each side of them. Most of the broken land lies near the Chariton River. Lancaster is perhaps nearly the highest point in the county.

The greater part of the county is lightly timbered with oak in most of its varieties, common and scaly bark, hickory, elm, black walnut, ash, haw, crab apple, wild cherry, hazel, sumac, etc.


© 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