Sullivan County Towns and Villages


The county seat of Sullivan County, Milan, is nearly in the geographical center of the county. The original town was laid off upon the farm of Armstead C. Hill and contained fifty acres. Several additions have since been made. Milan was incorporated February 9, 1859. R. D. Morrison was the first mayor and John Sorrell, William H. Watson and C. M. Freeman the first aldermen.

It is on two railroads, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and the Quincy, Omaha & Kansas City. The Quincy, Omaha & Kansas City shops, employing 200 men, are located here. It is an important shipping point for cattle, hogs and grain. There are two newspapers, the Re-publican, edited by B. F. Guthrie, and the Standard, edited by Thomas A. Dodge. The former, as its name indicates, is Republican in politics, while the latter is Democratic.

The 1910 census gave Milan a population of 2,191. At the present time it is about 2,300.

Green City

Green City, twelve miles northeast of Milan on the Quincy, Omaha & Kansas City Railroad, has a population of about 950. It has one newspaper, the Press, edited by R. H. McClanahan.


Newtown, in the extreme northwest corner of the county on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, has a population of about 300. It has one bank and one newspaper, the Newtown Chronicle, edited by P. P. Reed. It is the center of a farming and stock-raising section.


Humphreys is sixteen miles west of Milan on the Quincy, Omaha & Kansas City Railroad. It has a population of 300.

Cora | Boynton  | Pollock

Cora, Boynton and Pollock are small towns on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad.

Reger Sorrell | Greencastle

Reger, Sorrell and Greencastle are on the Quincy, Omaha & Kansas City.

Osgood | Harris

Osgood and Harris are on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul.

Judson, Wintersville, Bairdstown, Cookman, Parson, Pawpaw, Pennville, Bute, Owasco, Sticklerville, Mystic and Brown are small communities or post offices off the railroad. There are two banks at Pollock, one at Reger, two at Greencastle, one at Harris, and one at Osgood.

The County as a Whole

Sullivan County contains 656 square miles of land area. Cattle raising and feeding and horse breeding are the main sources of revenue. The livestock industry is more important than the grain farming. The corn crop is worth almost $1,000,000 a year, but little wheat and oats are grown. Within the county are twelve pure-bred cattle herds, some of which are among the best Hereford, Shorthorn, Polled-Angus and Red Polled herds in Missouri. There are also several stables of high grade horses.

About four-fifths of the land in the county is in improved farms. Topographically, the county is rolling, even broken along the streams. This makes the soil widely diversified. While one may find rich bottom lands, next to such a farm may be one comprising hills and low-lying bluffs and adjacent to this a farm of undulating prairie land.

Abundant stock water is furnished by Medicine, Yellow, Mussel, Spring, Mussel Pork, East Locust, Main Locust and West Locust creeks, running north and south, almost parallel to each other. The county is well adapted to its principal industry, stock raising. All of the lands grow grasses with native adaptability.

Coal is thought to underlie half the county, although little mining has been done. Limestone in great quantities is found on the streams, but is used for local foundation purposes only.

Coal is now being mined at Milan and is owned and operated by Hiram Grear. About twenty miners are employed and the coal is mined by machinery. From 30 to 50 tons a day are mined. The coal is splendid quality, extra hard, and is used mostly by the citizens of Milan.


© 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