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

Warren County, Missouri
By E. H. Winter, Warrenton


First White Settlers

One hundred and ten years have elapsed since the first daring adventurer set foot on the soil, now known as Warren County, discovered its advantages in soil and climate, the topographical beauties of its surface and its rich hunting ground. At that time the region was the home of the daring and savage Red Man and life to the first settlers was an endless struggle to protect life and property and rear the children who became the parents of a happy and prosperous community.

The first settlement, by the whites, on what is now the soil of Warren County, was made by French trappers at the mouth of Charrette creek, several miles east of the present town of Marthasville. This settlement is said to have been made about the year 1763. These pioneers were sent to this country in the interest of a fur company and all reliable data as to who they were has been lost. The tradition has come down, however, that a famous trapper, Indian Phillips, was one of the first. He is said to have lived until after the war of 1812, and made frequent visits to the settlers of the country up to that time. Others who are said to have belonged to this colony of trappers were men named Chateau and Lozie. These men secured grants from the Spanish government for large tracts of land, now located in St. Charles and Warren counties. The rude log cabins of these daring settlers were erected on the banks of the Missouri river and the treacherous currents of this stream have long since removed all traces of the homes of the first settlers on Warren County soil. At various points along Charrette and Tuque creeks, however, sugar camps were established, and traces of these were found many years later.

The first settlers are said to have disposed of their holdings in the year 1812 and left the county. Flanders Callaway, son-in-law of the renowned Daniel Boone, was the purchaser. Callaway and the famous Kentucky hunter came into the county in 1795 and established a settlement several miles west of Marthasville, which was called Callaway Post. This was the first American colony to be established in what is now Warren County. The fame of Daniel Boone and his fearless and daring methods in coping with the savage Indians, soon attracted other settlers who sought homes in the hills along the Missouri River. Flanders Callaway died at the post which he established, which, many generations ago, was engulfed by the waters of the Missouri River. With it went the records of its organization, the names of the brave people, and the stories of their desperate struggles for life and property. There is no doubt that to these French settlers belongs the honor of discovering a community which has since become populous, and one of the richest farming communities in the state.

Eight years after Boone and Callaway came to this region, Anthony Wyatt of Kentucky made a horseback trip to the same community. He located several miles north of Marthasville. After several horseback trips to and from his native state, he brought his family to his new home in 1816. This homestead is one of the historical landmarks of the county and has ever since been in the possession of descendants of the family. It is now occupied by John Wyatt.

Settlements in the more central parts of the county were made several years later. In 1808 Thomas Kennedy, a Virginian, was attracted by the remarkable tales of settlers who had returned from the far west, and he pushed westward to the wilds of Warren County. He settled near the present town of Wright City, where many of his descendants still reside, and they are among the most sturdy citizens of the community. Major Kennedy was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and escaped from his regiment, which, through treachery, had been surrendered to the British. His experiences as a leader made him a valuable man in the little group of daring settlers in planning for their safety and welfare. Several years after the settlement was made, Indian troubles arose, and in 1811 it became necessary to erect a fort and stockade so as to provide adequate defense in case of attack. This fort was erected exactly where the residence of Judge Royal J. Kennedy stood for many, many years and where is now the home of Pleasant Kennedy, a descendant of the first daring settlers. Other settlers who came to this community prior to 1810, were Anthony Keller of Pennsylvania, Samuel Gibson of South Carolina, and Daniel McCoy and David Boyd of Kentucky.

During the year 1810 and several years following, a large number of settlers came. Nathan Cleaver and James Dickson settled on Indian Camp creek, some five miles northeast of Wright City. Henry and David Bryan located on Tuque creek near Marthasville. They were descendants of Daniel Boone, and many of their posterity reside, at this time, in various parts of the county. Jonathan Bryan settled at Femme Osage. William Johnson, John Wyatt, Jonathan Davis, Absalom Hayes and William Thurman settled in the Tuque Prairie vicinity. William Logan settled on Tuque creek, and his brothers, Hugh, Alexander and Henry Logan settled near Marthasville. William and Benjamin Hancock also settled near Marthasville, and Hancock's Bottom is still so named in their honor. William Lamme, whose wife was a daughter of Col. Flanders Callaway, settled in the same community, and their descendants lived in the county for many years. Benjamin Cooper and family settled in Hancock's Bottom in 1807, but later moved to South Island near the present site of McKittrick. Mr. Cooper later became one of the organizers of Howard County.

These are among the daring early settlers who took a leading part in developing the community, clearing away the timber, educating their children, building schools and churches and creating such laws and regulations as were required for the safety of the community. Most of these men were rigid and resolute, possessing all the traits of character that constituted the genuine frontiersman. In addition to this they were endowed with practical, good sense. The present population of the county includes many descendants of these pioneer settlers.

The first settlers knew nothing of law or government, save the law of fair and upright conduct. Every man was put upon his honor, and his relations and dealings with his fellowmen were nothing more than a test of genuine manhood. It was their creed to lend a helping hand when required, and to be ever ready in time of sickness or danger.

The Early Homes

In those early days the homes of the settlers were crude and almost unfit for human habitation. The first to arrive modeled after the homes of 'the savage Indian, and erected flimsy and temporary structures. As the settlers at the several forts increased, more permanent buildings took the place of the first primitive huts. Before many years passed, the typical Missouri log cabins could be found in many parts of the county. The open fireplace served as the "kitchen range" for the good housewife. This, at the same time, also warmed and lighted the single room of the home. The furniture was the product of the handwork of the head of the family, and as a rule was crude and unwieldy. In later years, saw mills made it possible to build more shapely and comfortable residences, though a few of the log cabins of pioneer days may still be found in various parts of the county.

The tools and implements with which the pioneer cleared off the timber and tilled the soil, were entirely in keeping with the primitive homes. Riding cultivators and plows, the modern reaper, the steam threshing machine with "wind stacker" were beyond the remotest anticipation of the first farmers who located and developed the many rich farms that now dot the surface of the county. Homemade tools and implements sufficed to till the soil and harvest the golden grain, as well as to separate the wheat from the chaff. And yet it may truthfully be said that these pioneers lived on "the fat of the land." A meal prepared by the good housewife in one of the open fireplaces, carried with it the assurance of plenty, and a guarantee that no ill effects would follow the indulgence of a hearty meal.

Visiting cards, or servants announcing the arrival of a guest, were unknown, and any formality in neighborly visits was a sure sign of unfriendliness. Neighbors, as well as strangers, always found the latch string hanging outside, and it was a token of welcome to the hospitable home. Unhappily and unfortunately these men and women of genuine harmony of ideas, have been forced to abdicate before the infringement of latter-day social culture and the stiff and embarrassing rules of etiquette.

Our first settlers were men and women with all of the virtues and graces, and also the vices and frailties of the people of their class. They were hospitable and generous, as a rule. They did good works, and rendered generous deeds. There was industry and laziness, thrift and penury, happiness and misery, good and bad. While the life of the early settler was that of the pioneer of the west generally, it cannot well be said that they suffered hardships, since the lack of many of the modern luxuries and conveniences was made up by ample substitutes. There was a scarcity of silks and fine linen, but there was an abundance of linsey and jeans. There were none of the present fancy products of pastry or factory cured meats, but there was plenty of meal in the chest, milk and butter in the cellar or spring house, and home cured meats in the ''smoke house." To this was added, almost daily, choice cuts of game.

When the country was first occupied, the wood was full of game of all kinds. Buffaloes were not found in the county when the first settlers arrived, but there was evidence that they had not long left the county. Their bones, ''wallows" and trails were still to be found on the prairies. Deer were quite plentiful, however, as late as 1840, and some were killed as late as 1850 and later. In the early days it was not difficult for the settler to kill a deer at almost any time he desired, before breakfast, if he liked. Bears were numerous, too, in the hills in the southern part of the county. They were the black species, and many of those killed were fine specimens, weighing as much as 400 and 500 pounds. While they occasionally killed a stray hog, yet they were usually not harmful to the settler. "Bear bacon," as the cured meat was called, was to be found in every hunter's larder and was an article of food not to be despised. Many interesting adventures of the early settlers of the county with bears have come down to their posterity.

The hills and timber along the streams were also the home of the panther. The blood of many a settler was sent coursing through his veins as the piercing scream of the prowling panther was borne to his lonely and peaceful cabin. Wolves were a pest, and made it a difficult matter for the settler to raise sheep and pigs on account of the depredations of these marauders.

Up to 1825 the chief occupation of the settlers was hunting and fishing, and but little farming was done. Every settler had a "truck patch" and grew a little corn, potatoes and vegetables. On his little farm, com was the principal crop, and if enough of this was raised to supply the family with pone, Johnny cake and honey, the settler was satisfied. Very little wheat was raised. Cotton was quite successfully raised, and provided some of the wearing fabrics of the settlers. Flax was also among the first crops raised, and was grown chiefly for the bark, of which linen and linsey were made. A flax patch and a flock of sheep were the pride of every family, and the lady who was an expert flax spinner and weaver was the envy of her sex.

The people in those days were, as a class, religious and firm believers in the Bible, though stated preaching services were rare. Their spiritual life was kept up largely by the old traditional Bible reading and family prayer. The natural surroundings were such as to create feelings of love and veneration for the Creator of all things. However, following closely upon the first settlers, came the ministers, who labored among their parishioners without money and without price. They received freely and gave freely, and gained their substance as did their neighbors, by toil in the fields and by hunting and fishing. Nearly every minister was as adept in the use of the rifle as any of the laity.

Services, as a rule, were held in the cabin of a neighbor, and the people generally attended. The men folks always brought their rifles, so as to procure game going to and from the house of worship. The minister was not a graduate of any eastern theological seminary, and knew nothing about higher criticism. But he was devout and consistent, and proclaimed the truths of the gospel with a power and simplicity that showed the spirit of the Master was with him. His sermons had elevating and helpful effects upon his auditors.

A pioneer wedding would not compare well, in point of elegance and finery, with a modern wedding. In the early days few people wore "store goods.'' The wearing apparel consisted of homespun clothes. The toilet of the bride was not expensive, neither was it extensive, but it was sensible, for it was sufficient and appropriate for the times. Though there were discomforts and disadvantages, yet the marriages were fortunate and felicitous, and the wedding as joyous as any of modern times. There were rarely or never private weddings. The entire community was invited and attended. It was a grave offense to neglect to send an invitation, and it was an insult to refuse one. On the wedding day there were usually diversions of various kinds, ending at night with a dance. If the event happened in the summer, many of the dancers were barefooted, though the floor was usually made of large split timbers.

The wedding was always worthy of the name. The champagne and claret were good old Kentucky or Missouri whisky, pure and unadulterated as mountain dew. The cake was cornpone and the meats, the choice cuts of venison or other game.

Such, in a measure, is the history of the early pioneers of the county, and the people of the present generation can look back with interest and admiration to the days which tried the nerves, the muscles, and the indomitable will of the fathers and mothers who had the future of the community in their keeping. Thus the county grew and prospered under the strength of her noble pioneers. They had come into the vast wilderness, penniless, but were rich in faith and powerful in endurance. They made volumes of history, but, unfortunately, made no effort to preserve it. They laid the broad and deep foundation for the community, and on this the superstructure was to be built. Upon this the moral, physical and political future of the country would securely rest.

Early Organization

Between the years of 1800 and 1825 a great many settlers from the east and south made their homes in Warren County, and it soon became evident that some protection, other than the rustic honesty of the settlers was needed. The territorial legislature of Missouri was in session in St. Louis in December, 1818, when the counties of Jefferson, Franklin, Wayne, Lincoln, Madison, Pike, Pulaski, Cooper and Montgomery were organized out of what was then St. Charles County. Prior to that time St. Charles County extended from the Missouri river north to the British possessions and from the Mississippi river west to the Pacific Ocean. Montgomery County, formed December 14, 1818, included not only the present territory of that county, but also that now included in Warren County. The first seat of justice of Montgomery County was located at Pinckney on the Missouri River, now in Warren County. The land upon which the town was built was first deeded to John Meek by the Spanish government, but it later reverted to the United States government. In 1818 it was sold to Alexander McKinney who sold 50 acres to the county commissioners for $500 for the use of the county.

The first public building erected in the first city on what is now Warren County soil, was a jail which was built in 1820 at a cost of $2,500. The same year Nathaniel Hart and George Edmondson built a large frame house which they rented to the county for a courthouse at $100 a year. Frederick Griswald soon after built a log house which became the first store in the town. Andrew Faust built the first hotel in Pinckney and on court days his hostelry was a lively place. It was generally conceded that men could go there, get drunk, quarrel and fight, as they regarded the hotel as a public place.

Pinckney was a post town and was located on the north bank of the river, several miles from Marthasville. The site was low, and soon after the county seat was removed to Lewiston, the town disappeared. The spot where it originally stood has fallen into the Missouri river. A post office bearing the name was maintained several miles north of there for many years. The office has long since been discontinued, though the community still bears the name "Pinckney."

The names of the first county officials and court are of interest here, as some of them were citizens of the present territory of Warren county, and the court was held on Warren County soil. The first judges of the county court were Isaac Clark, Moses Summers and John Wyatt. Irvine S. Pitman was the first sheriff and John C. Lang the first county and circuit clerk. In 1826 the county seat of Montgomery County was moved from Pinckney to Lewiston, a short distance south of the present town of New Florence.

The county was rapidly developed and immigrants continued to come in. In 1833 a request was made to the legislature to divide the county. Accordingly the legislature passed an act January 5, 1833, organizing Warren County out of Montgomery County. It was named in honor of Gen. Joseph Warren who was killed in the battle of Bunker Hill. The eastern side of the county was taken off; also a large portion of the southeastern part, which, it is said, was done for the benefit of Jonathan Ramsey who desired to live in Warren County and who resided in that part. This comer of Warren County still remains so and forms a portion of Bridgeport Township. The boundaries of the new county were regularly surveyed and established, and this brought with it the necessity of a permanent county organization which was at once effected. The following commission was appointed to select a seat of justice: Jacob Groom of Montgomery County; Jesse McDaniel of Franklin County; and Felix Scott of St. Charles County.

First Court and Grand Jury

The first session of the first court of Warren County, was held on the 20th day of May, 1833, at the home of Mordecai Morgan. Fortunately the records of this first court are still fairly well preserved. Thomas N. Groves, Tilman Cullom and Morgan Bryan were the judges of the court. Mr. Cullom was elected presiding judge and Absalom Hayes was appointed sheriff. Carty Wells was the first clerk of the court and Walter Dillon was appointed his deputy. James Pitzer was appointed county surveyor. Following are some of the proceedings:

Frederick Griswald was granted a license to keep a tavern at Pinckney, the license fee being $15.
Walter Dillon was granted a similar license to keep a tavern at Hickory Grove, the license fee being $12. The court ordered the county divided into the following townships:
Elkhorn in the central and northern part of the county;
Pinckney township comprised the western and southwestern part of the county;
Camp Branch comprised all the northwestern part
Charrette all the southeastern part of the county.
Later Hickory Grove was set off in the eastern part
Bridgeport in the western part of the county, making six townships, which division is still maintained.

In the first election of the county there were but four polling places, one in each township. In Charrette Township the election was held at Marthasville and John McGaw, Jared Erwin and John S. Wyatt served as judges. In Elkhorn the judges were: Newton Howell, John Preston, and Wm. Langford, and the polling place was at the home of Grief Stewart.

The election in Camp Branch Township was held at the home of Nicholas C. Kablers. Cornelius Howard, John Ferguson and Philip Glover were the judges.

In Pinckney Township the voters came to the home of Tilman Cullom. John Wyatt, John B. Carter, and Hugh A. Skinner were the judges.

The following constables were appointed at the first session of the court: Charrette, Lewis L. Wyatt; Elkhorn, Lawrie Williams; Pinckney, Hugh McDaniel.

The court ordered that the temporary seat of justice of the county be at the home of John Wyatt, Sr., and that the regular sessions of the court be held there until other provisions were made.

The following were appointed the first road overseers of the several townships: William Hancock, William Logan, Lawson Thurman, Moses Edwards, Samuel Morris, John Tice and John Butler.

Patrols were appointed for each township for the purpose, chiefly, of protecting slave owners in their property. The patrols kept a constant lookout for escaping Negroes, and dispersed all gatherings of the colored people. They arrested and prosecuted all strangers found conversing with slaves. Among the early minutes of the court appears the following: Wm. James filed a complaint setting forth the improper valuation of a Negro slave, valued at $300. Upon full examination of the premises, it was ordered that the said James be exempted from tax on the said slave.

The Tilman Cullom who was selected the first president of the county court, was a brother of Shelby M. Cullom, ex-governor, and for many years United States senator of the state of Illinois. He was a Kentuckian and reared a large family. His descendants in Pinckney and Bridgeport townships are numerous, and are among the best people of the county. One, Tilman Cullom of Gore, bears the name of his distinguished ancestor.

Absalom Hayes, the first sheriff, served in that capacity for twelve years. He married a Miss Annie Skinner of near Jonesburg.

First Circuit Court

The first term of the circuit court of Warren County was also held in May, 1833, just previous to the first session of the county court. The session was also held at the home of Mordecai Morgan by Priestly B. McBride, judge of the second judicial district for the state of Missouri. Following were the Grand Jurors for this court:

Thomas Talbot, foreman
Grief Stewart
Samuel Dokerty
Benoni McClure
Andrew J. Long
Isaac Kent, Jr.
William Cameron
James Miller
Edward Plaisant
Turner Roundtree
Jonathan D. Gordon
Benjamin Hutchinson
Woodson A. Burton
Thos. Chambers
George Clay
James B. Graves
John B. Shaw
Jared Erwin

After several days' deliberation, the jury reported to the court that they had no business before them, and they were accordingly discharged.

Wm. Logan was arraigned before the court on a charge to keep the peace of his wife. The case was removed to the justice of the peace.

Thos. Talbot was sued by John Jones on a charge of fraud in settling an estate. The case was dismissed. Several other minor proceedings constituted the work of the first circuit court.

Since the first court was held by Priestly McBride, who served until 1836, the following judges served in the county and district:

Ezra Hunt, 1836 to 1848
Carty Wells, 1848 to 1857
A. H. Buckner, 1857 to 1862
Thos. J. C. Fagg, 1862 to 1866
Giles Porter, 1866 to 1871
W. W. Edwards, 1871 to 1889
E. M. Hughes, 1889 to 1905
H. W. Johnson, 1905 to 1906
James D. Barnett, 1906 to present date

The War History

The people of Warren County are, and always have been, peaceable and law abiding, and avoided strife and discord whenever they found it possible so to do. When it became necessary, however, to defend their honor or their rights, no people were more willing to contend for these rights. Impelled by a patriotic love of country and a deep seated veneration for her institutions, the brave sons of the bounty left their loved ones, severed the ties of friendship and hastened to defend the flag of their country.

In all of the wars in which our beloved country has been engaged since the Revolutionary war, Warren county contributed her full quota of brave and gallant men.

The first conflict to involve the settlers of Warren County was the War of 1812. Though far removed from the active scene of operations, the country along the Missouri River did not escape the ravages of war. For mutual protection from the marauding bands of Indians, two posts were established in the county, Kennedy's post near Wright City and Callaway's post near Marthasville. The Boone and Callaway families, led by the famous hunter, and the Kennedy family understood the methods of Indian warfare well, and were ever ready to meet and repulse the enemy when attacked. During this war, however, no skirmishes of any consequence took place. For three years after the war the settlers enjoyed immunity from their former enemies. On a beautiful May day in 1818, however, they were rudely awakened from this dream of a peaceful and quiet existence when an event took place that brought death and sorrow to the colonists at the Callaway fort. At an early hour a band of Indians surprised a family by the name of Robert Ramsey, and at once opened a murderous fire on the defenseless family. Three of the children were killed and scalped, Mrs. Ramsey was mortally wounded and Ramsey himself received serious wounds. Several boys escaped and at once spread the news of the attack. Volunteers from neighboring camps at once rushed to the rescue and several desperate engagements ensued. In one of the engagements Captain Callaway, of Callaway's Fort, with several of his companions were captured, and were later horribly tortured and put to death.

The following residents of the county were among those who enlisted in the War of 1812:

Anthony Wyatt
Morgan Bryan
James Bryan
William Hancock
John King
William T. Lamme*
Newton Howell
Thomas Bowen
James Kennedy
John Kent
William McConnell
Thomas Chambers
Alexander Chambers
Joseph, John
James Gibson
Guion Gibson
Robert Lisle
Robert Gray
*a lieutenant in Nathan Boone's company

The next call to the people of Warren County to take up arms in defense of the country came upon the outbreak of Indian troubles in 1832, known as the Black Hawk War, because of the famous Indian chief, Black Hawk. The only names obtainable of men who enlisted in this war are: Woodford F. and Edward Roundtree and Turner Miller.

At the opening of the war with the Republic of Mexico in 1846, Warren County was again called upon for troops. In response to a call by Governor Edwards for volunteers, a company was at once organized in Warrenton. The following enlisted:

Thomas W. Stewart*
P. P. Stewart
J. H. Faulconer
Lewis Gibson
A. Z. Kent
Joseph L. Fant
James A. Stewart
John Ballard
James B. Oliver
*who was chosen captain

When the war cloud of 1861 burst upon the country and involved the people of the South and the North in the great Civil War, the people of the county were at once aroused and took sides according to their beliefs on the question which divided the nation. The situation in the county was a rather unusual one. Located near the line of demarcation between the free states and the slave states, a large number of sympathizers of both the North and the South were found in the county. There were a large number of slave owners in the county, and when the time came when warfare was to determine whether the system of African bondage was to continue in the country, they were aroused to action. Volunteers enlisted freely on both sides. Neighbors who had lived peaceably together for many years, suddenly found themselves placed in a position where they must oppose each other in a long and bitter war. With the first volunteers in the county, began a state of public fear and anxiety that continued throughout the four long years of the struggle for supremacy.

While there were a number of Union sympathizers in the county, the town of Warrenton contained a large majority of Southern sympathizers. The few Union men in the town who dared to take a stand, were threatened with injury and sometimes death. Col. Frederick Morsey, who later organized the Third Missouri Cavalry, was served with notice to leave town. He was a man of courage, however, and remained to carry out his plans. Recruits were brought to his house at night and enlisted, and in this way the regiment was enrolled. To these men belongs much of the credit of preserving the lives and property of many of the people of the county. Occasional raids, however, were made into the county, and the militia was kept on a constant move in order to preserve order.

On a dark night in August, 1861 the people of Warrenton and its vicinity were given the first realization of war. At midnight a party of guerrillas rode through the town and created some disturbance. They went at once to the Red Hill Bridge on the North Missouri Railroad several miles west of Warrenton, and burned it to the ground. The object was to prevent the transportation of Union troops to St. Louis from western Missouri and other states. The bridge was at once reconstructed and only a temporary delay was occasioned.

In September, 1863, a more serious war experience occurred at Wright City. A small band of Confederates was encamped near there and the Union militia, under command of Capt. Jos. L. Fant, attempted their capture. The militia surrounded the camp of the enemy and began to close in upon them. The Confederates then made a dash for liberty. They charged the Union lines and kept up a rapid fire, which was as hotly returned. In the excitement the Confederates escaped with only one killed. The Union forces also lost one man, William Barklage, of near Wright City. The killing of Barklage and the report that the Confederates were provisioned from Wright City, incensed the militia to the extent that they determined to avenge the death of their comrade. News of the excited feeling reached Wright City, and, fearing the town would be attacked, the people sent runners to Capt. John E. Bali, of Lincoln County, who organized a company of Union men, to come at once to the aid of the town. Captain Ball and Lieut. H. H. Schaper immediately responded, but came too late to prevent the destruction of several buildings owned by sympathizers of the rebellion. The militia went first to the Baptist church, which was known as a rallying place for the Confederates, and applied the torch. They next fired the blacksmith shop of Clint Bryan and the saloon of Bill Kennedy, both avowed Confederates. Before further destruction was accomplished, Captain Ball and his company arrived, and advised the maddened militia to retire.

In July, 1861, a train load of Union soldiers was dispatched from St. Louis to General Sigel in the western part of the state. News of the passage of this train through Warren County reached the people several days in advance of the troops, and the Confederates determined to attack the train as it passed through. Several prominent Confederate leaders in the county sent runners through the county and a small army was assembled along the railroad track near Foristell. They were distributed at convenient points for several miles. When the train passed Foristell into Warren County, a murderous fire was opened upon it and this was continued for several miles. The Union soldiers returned the fire from the train and severely wounded several of the Confederates. Thomas Edwards was mortally wounded and died several days after the attack.

Great excitement followed this attack and rumors were rife to the effect that Union men would be sent into the county to avenge the on slaught on the train. Owing to a fear that indignant Union soldiers would call upon them, many Confederates left their homes and made their way to Price's army. This struggle had the effect to arouse the Union men of the county who at once organized for their own protection. These organized companies were soon ready for service which served to check the daring acts of the Confederates.

In the spring of 1862 the Union army of Brigadier-General Pope marched through Warren County and camped for some time at Truesdale. The army numbered ten thousand, and the citizens of Warrenton extended every possible kindness to both officers and men.

In March, 1862, the report was given out that a man named Henderson was soliciting and drilling Confederate soldiers in the southern part of the county. He was fearless in his efforts to aid the rebellion, and the militia determined to affect his capture. Thirty men of the Third Missouri Cavalry left Warrenton March 20, for the farm of Doctor Briscoe, three miles north of Marthasville, where Henderson was reported in camp with several companies of soldiers. The house was surrounded and a surrender demanded. The demand was answered by a volley of shots, when a general fire was concentrated on the building. After a short skirmish the militia captured the entire party. Henderson was severely wounded and was brought to a hospital in Warrenton, where he died several days later. Private Conrad Drunert, bugler in Captain McFadden's company of the militia, was seriously wounded in this fight.

In July, 1864, an entire army corps of fifteen thousand veterans, commanded by Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith, marched through the county from the west. The army camped several days, one mile east of Warrenton.

In August, 1862, Capt. Jos. L. Fant, of Warrenton, organized a company of volunteers for the Union army which was later known as Company K, Thirty-second Missouri Infantry. Thirty Warren County men enlisted in this company.

A call for volunteers was issued during the winter of 1862 when Capt. J. W. McFadden organized Company F, Third Missouri Cavalry. Samuel W. Hopkins was chosen first lieutenant of this company, and F. H. Hukriede second lieutenant. Seventy of Warren County's loyal citizens enlisted in this company, and during the long struggle, experienced many bitter conflicts. Henry Dreyer, a private, was killed in the battle at Rocheport, Missouri, as was also Private Conrad Drunert. The regiment in which this company served, was organized for duty in Missouri and it distinguished itself on many historic occasions.

Besides the soldiers enlisted in the two companies, a large number of Warren County citizens enlisted in other Missouri regiments. All of them were recruited from the best material of the county, and none of them ever failed to do his full measure of duty.

The Confederate army also received a number of recruits from Warren County, though the number was not nearly so large as that of the recruits of the Union army. They, too, were the best of the county and fought valiantly for the principles which they believed right.

The divisions and animosities caused by this war have long since been forgotten, and today the people are happier, more contented and harmonious than they have ever been before. At the close of the war, the boys in blue and the boys in gray returned to their quiet pursuits of civil life and manfully built up the material interests of the county which had been seriously injured by four years of bitter warfare.

During the Spanish-American War, Warren County again furnished a small number of her bravest sons, though none succeeded in experiencing actual service.


Soon after the first settlers found homes on Warren County soil, the ministers came to cast their lot with them, and sometimes they were the first settlers to arrive. The history of the community is largely the history of religion. The progress of the community is inevitably accompanied by the helpful influences of the church. The early pastors did not make merchandise of their mission. They received freely and gave equally as freely.

Services, as a rule, were held in the cabin of a neighbor, and notice of the meeting was promptly and generally circulated. The people generally attended, bringing their rifles with them so as to procure game going to and coming from the house of worship. The services were not looked upon in the light of a task, but adherence to the holy observance of the Sabbath day, and loyalty to the precepts of Christianity. Amidst the rudest surroundings and in the most unpretentious homes, the old doctrine of faith, hope and charity was proclaimed to men and women whose daily lives were pure and consistent. The same gospel truths were laid down to those simple people as are now expounded to the fashionable audiences in costly edifices. The same rules of religious and moral conduct were laid down, and there was much more hope of their observance than in the present time of free thought and scientific skepticism.

The first church society organized in the county was affected by the Baptists soon after the first settlers came. The society was known as Friendship church, and services were held in the home of Flanders Callaway.

In the year 1831 a large log church was built in the Hopewell vicinity, which was not confined to any particular denomination, but was used freely by all. The building was also used as a schoolhouse. A number of men who later became prominent, received the rudiments of an education in this church. Among them were: John D. S. Dryden, later one of the justices of the state supreme court; John A. Howard, later sheriff of the county; and Jos. L. Fant, who became a leading citizen of Warrenton.

The Methodist church, South, in Warrenton was organized in 1840. Some of the charter members were:

A. S. Wood, Elizabeth Wood, Elizabeth Buxton and Ann Smith. A frame building was erected in 1859, and this building is still the house of worship of a flourishing congregation.

A Missionary Baptist church was organized in 1855. Albert W. Johnson and wife, and William Harper and wife were among the first members. A building was erected in 1866 under the pastorate of Rev. Joseph Nichols. This building was later sold to the school board and was used for school purposes. The organization closed when the building was sold, and has never been revived.

The Evangelical Friedens church in Warrenton was organized in 1878, the names of some of the original members being, John G. Schrantz and wife, Fred Fahrmeyer and wife, Fritz Sievert and wife. James Drewer and wife, Wm Fahrmeyer, and others. The congregation is still in a flourishing condition.

The St. Vincent Catholic church near Dutzow was organized in 1837, having for its charter members Bartholomew Roesner, Henry Dieckhaus, Francis Krekel, Herman Struckhoff and others.

The Evangelical Harmony church, later known as Strack's church, in honor of the Rev. Karl Strack, who served the congregation as pastor for many years, was organized in 1843. The original members were: George Wahlbrink, Doctor Brandt, E. Theermann, H. H. Kerkhoff, F. Waltemath, Henry Bockhorst, and E. H. Suhre.

The Evangelical church at Holstein was organized in 1848 and it is now one of the largest congregations in the county. The congregation first worshipped in a log house which burned in 1855. A brick building was then erected. On account of the growth of the congregation this was razed in 1884 and the present $10,000 edifice was erected. Rev. Jos. Rieger was the first pastor of the congregation.

The German Evangelical church at Marthasville was organized in 1864, the first members being:

Herman Schulte
Henry Hilgedick
Fr. Lagemann
W. Otterman
R. Hillebrandt
H. Eilers
E. H. Suhre
E. Hovelmann

The first pastor was O. Neithammer. A beautiful brick edifice was erected in recent years, and the congregation is a very large one.  

The St. Paul's German Evangelical church, located five miles north of Warrenton, was organized in 1865 by the Rev. J. G. Stranger. Some of the original members were:

William Hollmann
Henry Pape
Henry Reese
Henry Fischer
Herman Vogt
Jacob Leek
William Karrenbrock
Kunrod Bebermeier
Henry Dettermann
William Voss
Frank Hollman
William Linnert
William Buschmann

A stone house of worship was erected in 1875 at a cost of $1,000, and a parsonage was built soon after. The latter has been abandoned, the pastor residing in Warrenton, though a flourishing church is still maintained.

The German Methodist church of Warrenton came into existence with the founding of Central Wesleyan College in 1864. It is now one of the largest congregations in the county, and boasts a Sunday school of over three hundred pupils. Dr. O. E. Kriege, president of Central Wesleyan College, is the superintendent. A handsome brick edifice was erected in 1887 under the pastorate of the Rev. Wm. Koeneke, D. D., which served the purposes of the congregation until 1912, when the building was razed to make room for a larger house of worship, which was erected at a cost of over $20,000.

A German Evangelical congregation was organized at Lippstadt, four miles south of Warrenton, shortly after the Civil war. The first church was a log structure, but in 1877 a fine brick building was erected at a cost of $4,500. The congregation had its own pastor for many years, but is now being served by the pastor located at Warrenton.

The Methodist Episcopal Church at Pendleton was organized in 1871 by the Rev. C. S. Cooper, its charter members being:

Wm. F. Chiles
Robert N. Chiles
Mrs. Ellen Watkins
Wilford Johnson
Mrs. Mary E. Johnson
Joseph P. Chiles
Henry Benney
Mrs. Jane Martin
Lewis H. Jackson
Alfred Wingett
Allison Baldwin
Mrs. Elizabeth Lewis
Mrs. Mary Benny

A frame building was erected in 1872 at a cost of $1,000. A congregation is still maintained with some of the charter members as regular attendants.

The German Evangelical congregation at Wright City was organized in 1880. The first members were:

Capt. E. F. Ordelheide
Fr. Ordelheide
William Kamp
Fr. Nieburg
Fr. Liedke
Henry Blattner
Florence Ordelheide
Henry Schmidt.

A frame structure was erected in 1881 and the congregation was in a flourishing condition until the spring of 1912, since which time they have been without a pastor.

Since that time other congregations have been established in the county. A Catholic church at Concord Hill has a large membership and they worship in a large and modern brick building. A Catholic congregation in Truesdale is also in a nourishing condition. In Wright City a Southern Methodist and a Baptist church were organized in the '80s and both have a large membership. At Palmyra, a Baptist congregation has worshipped the last quarter century, and while no minister is maintained at the present time, the pulpit is frequently supplied by neighboring pastors. One of the strongest churches of the Methodist church. South, is at Central Grove. Another congregation of the same denomination is doing a good work at Macedonia. In recent years a German Evangelical congregation was established at Pinckney, and a Catholic congregation at Case. German Methodist congregations are maintained at Pinckney, Hopewell, Marthasville and Steinhagen. The churches at Pinckney and Hopewell are among the oldest in the county. The dates of the organizations of some of these old churches are very difficult to obtain, though most of them have maintained a continuous organization for many years, and have grown in usefulness and in membership.


Central Wesleyan College

This splendid educational institution is located at Warrenton and is under the control of a board of trustees, ministers and laymen, elected by the St. Louis and West German conferences of the German Methodist church.

The college owes its beginning to the necessity of the church in supplying ministers for the German work. Everywhere in the central west, congregations were being established, and no ministers could be secured to take charge of them. Several plans were adopted and tried to supply this want, but all without success. The needs of the church, however, were pressing, and the Southwest German Conference at that time decided to start a school in connection with the seminary of the church at Quincy, Illinois.

In 1855 the Rev. H. A. Koch, D. D., was appointed agent to secure the finances necessary for the undertaking and the Rev. John Walter was appointed principal of the school. In the year 1857 Doctor Koch was placed in charge of the German department of the college, and this had an attendance of about twenty-five, all preparing for the ministry. During the Civil war the Quincy College, as it was later called, went down under financial troubles, but the German department was continued with Doctor Koch as teacher until 1864. At that time the church recognized the need of a home for the children of deceased soldiers, and it was proposed to purchase an estate from Wm. Truesdale near Warrenton, and establish there both the college and the orphan home. After a hard fight the proposition was finally accepted, largely through the efforts of the Revs. Philip Kuhl, and Henry Pfaff and Doctor Koch. The Truesdale farm was purchased and in the fall of 1864 both institutions were opened. The Rev. George Boeschenz was appointed superintendent of the orphan home, and Doctor Koch was made principal of the college. In 1865 a charter was obtained and the institutions were incorporated under the names: "Western Orphan Asylum and Educational Institute."

The object of the institutions as set forth in the charter were: First, "To found and support a home for orphan children, especially of deceased soldiers; to clothe, feed and instruct them.'' Second, "To provide for the instruction and education of the youth of our land and thus enable them to become honorable members of society." "In the reception of orphan children and students, no regard shall be paid to the religious denominations of parents and children." Both institutions were established upon the broad and secure basis of Christian philanthropy, and both have had a generous growth during the forty-eight years of administration in accordance with these principles.

Doctor Kuhl was the first president of the corporation, and Doctor Koch the first principal of the college. With the help of two other teachers, school opened October 3, 1864, with 190 pupils, including orphans, enrolled. The following courses were offered: Primary, classical, scientific, normal and commercial.

In March, 1870, the charter was amended by the general assembly and the name changed to Central Wesleyan College and Orphan Home. In June of 1870 the first class in the classical course graduated. The class consisted of Wm. Balcke of Davenport, Iowa, and John H. Frick of Liberty, Missouri. The former has been a leading member of the patronizing conferences since his graduation, and Mr. Frick has been teacher of mathematics in his alma mater for over forty years and is the Grand Old Man of the college.

In the early '70s strong efforts were made to have the college removed from Warrenton. Offers of Quincy, Illinois, and Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, were rejected. In the meantime a large subscription was raised in Warren County which amounted to over $10,000 by the time the conference met in Quincy, Illinois, in September, 1872. The subscriptions were accepted, and the trustees were authorized to proceed with the erection of a building, fifty-five by ninety feet, three stories high, and to cost about $20,000. The building was dedicated November 14, 1875, and still serves as the principal building of the college. Some of the early financial agents of the college were the Revs. Mr. Kuhl, M. Roeder and Chas. Heidel. Through their efforts a substantial endowment fund was raised which has grown from time to time. The endowment now amounts to over $150,000 and a special campaign is now being made to raise this to $250,000.

For a number of years the college made rapid progress. More students enrolled each year and more teachers were added to the faculty, and more and better facilities provided. At midnight of May 8, 1882, the college suffered a severe blow when a destructive cyclone struck the new college building which carried away the roof and tore away the whole east wall. Other buildings were also damaged.

The untiring workers of the faculty, however, did not give up in despair. Two hours after the storm a faculty meeting was called and it was at once decided that not a single day of school must be lost. Class rooms were arranged in nearby public buildings, and the arrangements for the continuance of the work were so well made that not a single recitation was missed. The trustees' board met shortly after and decided to rebuild and repair all damages at once. The professors and resident pastor, the Rev. Wm. Schutz, solicited funds. The unfortunate loss of the school aroused the sympathies of the people so well that the necessary funds to make the repairs were soon raised.

In 1884 the charter was again amended and at this time, too, the separation of the college and orphan home was carried into effect. The Central Wesleyan College and the Central Wesleyan Orphan Home were each incorporated under separate charters. Each now has separate boards of trustees appointed by the St. Louis and West German conferences of the Methodist church, German.

The college then entered upon an era of prosperity and soon it became necessary to provide larger facilities in all of its departments. In the fall of 1884 a woman's home was built at a cost of $11,000. This provided room for about fifty young women, and a dining room built in connection with this building was large enough to seat 125 students.

In 1893 the college again suffered a serious loss when the woman's home was destroyed by fire, but a far greater loss than that of the building, was the death of Prof. J. Louis Kessler, who died from injuries sustained while attempting to save the building. In his memory a chapel hall, and quarters for a conservatory of music, was erected in 1895. A larger woman's home took the place of the one destroyed by fire, and accommodations for about eighty young women are now provided.

In 1900 a liberal donation of Andrew Eisenmayer of Trenton, Illinois, made possible the erection of a modern and commodious boys' hall at a cost of $25,000. The building is four stories high and accommodates over one hundred students.

In 1910 a large gymnasium, said to be one of the best in the state, was erected at a cost of $15,000, which was largely the gift of the late Wm. Niedringhaus of St. Louis. This year, 1912, a college church is being erected at a cost of $20,000 and plans are under way for the erection of a science hall at a cost of about $80,000.

Doctor Koch, the first president, conducted the affairs of the college quite successfully for a number of years. In 1894 he was succeeded by the Rev. Geo. B. Addicks, D. D., who served with a masterful hand until 1909, when he was compelled to resign on account of failing health. The Rev. Otto E. Kriege, D. D., succeeded him, and has built the school up to a high standard. During the past year 316 students were enrolled. The college is a member of the Missouri College Union, which alone is evidence of its growth and excellent work. The college maintains the following departments: College of liberal arts, academy, normal school and summer school, school of business, conservatory of music, art and oratory, physical culture, German theological seminary.

Central Wesleyan Orphan Home

The early history, the organization and purposes of the orphan home have already been given in the history of the college. Both existed under the same corporate name until 1882, when a separate board of trustees was appointed for the home or asylum. The Revs. G. Boeshenz, H. Pfaff, and F. W. Meyer, each had charge of the institution a short time. Then followed the administration of Rev. Philip Kuhl. He was very active and enterprising, and built up the interests of both asylum and college so well as to assure their success for a number of years. The asylum is supported largely by contributions from members of the German Methodist Episcopal church and their friends. Another means of support is the asylum farm of several hundred acres. The boys in the home assist at cultivating the farm, and much of the food consumed in the home is raised on the farm of the asylum. A large orchard produces quantities of various kinds of fruit, and is therefore no small factor in the support of the orphan family. The girls of the home are taught to do cooking, housework and sewing. In 1878, the Rev. Chas. Heidel succeeded Doctor Koch as superintendent and managed the affairs of the home successfully until 1880, when the Rev. C. F. Schlinger was appointed superintendent. He was succeeded in 1888 by Ph. Naumann, who served until 1892, when P. Gruenewald was chosen superintendent. Three years later, in 1895, J. H. Kuehaus succeeded him and in 1903 F. H. Wippermann was selected as the superintendent, and he is still serving in that capacity.

At the time of the separation of the college and asylum, it became evident that the old buildings were fast becoming inadequate. A new building was therefore erected at a cost of $10,000, which was completed in 1885. Since that time two additions, each costing as much as the original structure, have been built, and at the present time a third addition is being built at a cost of $10,000. There are over one hundred children in the home and all are carefully and tenderly cared for by the superintendent and wife, Rev. and Mrs. F. H. Wippermann, and their assistants.

A graded school of three rooms is maintained in the home where the children are given the best education. After completing this course, they may continue in the college where they receive free tuition. In addition to this, they are instructed in the principles of the Christian religion and good morals from first to last, and the children have a home that is ideal in every particular and exceeded only by that presided over by father and mother.

Cities, Towns and Villages

Callaway's Fort | Dutzow | Holstein | Morsey | Pendleton | Pitts | Truesdale | Warrenton | Wright City


A quarter of a century after the organization of Warren County, the first newspaper was established in the county. It was the Warrenton Nonpareil, which was established by Charles Corwin and Robert Pleasants. It was a 16 by 22 sheet, and was so published until 1863 when it was enlarged and the ownership transferred to Col. John E. Hutton, later congressman from the seventh district. In 1864 the paper was suspended, and Charles E. Peers became the owner of the property. The following year he began the publication of the Warren County Banner. In 1869 the title was changed to the Warrenton, Missouri Banner. In 1872 the plant was sold to Landon Rummons and Thomas Morsey. Since that time, the following have been owners and editors of the Banner, R. B. Speed and George W. Morgan; R. B. Speed and Thomas Morsey ; Thomas Morsey and S. B. Cook ; Thomas Morsey and Fred L. Blome. In the early '90s the plant went into the hands of a company and the paper was edited by A. W. Johnson until 1901 when fire destroyed the plant. E. F. Williams then became editor and manager and had charge of the paper until 1905 when a stock company was formed and E. H. Winter became editor and manager; also chief stock holder. The plant is still managed by him.

In 1869 the Warrenton Chronicle was established by A. Ackerman. The title was later changed to the Warrenton Citizen when a German department was added and the editorship transferred to Frank T. Williams. In 1875 the property was purchased by Maynard & Co. who conducted the paper until 1881 when it was discontinued.

In 1871 the Wright City Visitor was founded by Landon Rummons. He conducted the paper for one year and then purchased the Warrenton Banner, when the plant and subscription list of the Visitor were consolidated with the Banner.

The first German paper was Der Buerger, established immediately after the Civil war. In 1869 the German edition of the Citizen took the place of Der Buerger and in 1875 the Union was launched and published for four years. In 1880 the Union gave way to the Warrenton Volksfreund under the management of George Bartholamaeus and F. A. Boehmer. This paper is still published by John Bartholamaeus who is a son of the founder of the paper.

In 1897 the Marthasville Record was established by J. E. Lavender, who later sold the plant to Julius Iserman who is now the editor and sole owner. The Wright City News was founded by Artie B. Keadle in 1896. Mr. Keadle is still the owner and publisher. The Central Wesleyan Star made its appearance in 1899. It is the principal publication of Central Wesleyan College, Warrenton, and circulates among the graduates and ex-students of the college.


The Warren County Savings Bank at Warrenton was the first bank organized in Warren County. This institution was incorporated in 1872 with a capital stock of $60,000. Rudolph Ritter was president and Henry Parker secretary. Some eight years later the business of the bank was wound up.

In 1883 the Bank of Warren County was organized with a capital stock of $10,000. Samuel B. Cook was president and Thomas J. Fariss cashier. Mr. Fariss is still serving as cashier of this old and substantial institution. The capital stock has since been increased to $25,000.

In 1874 the Wright City Savings Bank was incorporated and did a general banking business until 1877 when its affairs were wound up.

In 1875 the Citizens Bank was organized at Warrenton with a capital stock of $20,000. Since then the following banks have been established in the county: Marthasville Bank, capital stock, $20,000 ; Wright City Bank, capital stock, $20,000; Treloar Bank, capital stock, $15,000; Dutzow Bank, capital stock, $10,000; New Truxton Bank, capital stock, $10,000; Farmers and Merchants, Wright City, capital stock, $20,000; Holstein Bank, capital stock, $10,000.


While the people of Warren County have always been peace loving and law abiding, yet the county has not been entirely free from crime. Reference must be made to the leading criminal trials. Several murders which occurred were sensational in their detail, and monstrous in their conception.

The first crime to blot the history of the county of which there is record, was a most dastardly one. On September 22, 1851, Mrs. Callahan, wife of Squire Callahan of Pinckney, was murdered at her residence by a slave. She was quite old and infirm. In her efforts to prevent the wretch from carrying out a fiendish purpose, the brute choked her to death. His arrest speedily followed and he was hanged November 14, 1851.

Soon after this crime, Mr. Bevins, another slave owner in the same community, was killed by one of his servants. Bevins was sick, and while asleep, one of the Negroes, who had been abused, took a position at the window and with a gun deliberately shot his master. The Negro was captured before Bevins died, but realizing he could not live, Bevins had a neighbor take the Negro to New Orleans where he was sold for $1,000. The Negro was never indicted and his victim was buried before the officers of the law learned of the crime.

On Sunday, August 25, 1875, a Negro was shot in the back and instantly killed near the Warrenton depot, and his body was found soon after near the railroad track about one mile east of Warrenton. A stranger who had given his name as William Foster, was suspected, and a search for him was at once begun. He was captured several days later in the southern part of the county and was brought back to Warrenton for trial. After several days' imprisonment, he confessed having committed the crime, and paid the penalty on the gallows June 19, 1876.

The next day after the execution of Foster, Samuel Taylor, a white man of Pinckney Bottom, was shot and killed by Daniel Price, a Negro. The shooting was the result of a quarrel in which Taylor accused Price of having been criminally intimate with Taylor's wife. The Negro was captured the day after the shooting. In the trial it was proven that Price and Taylor's wife had conspired to bring about the death of Taylor. Both were found guilty, the woman was sentenced to the penitentiary for twenty-five years, and the Negro expiated his crime January 18, 1877, upon the same gibbet from which the body of Foster swung six months before.

In an altercation which took place on the main street of Warrenton, April 18, 1877, Col. Ferdinand Meyer was shot by Nat. C. Dryden, an attorney of Warrenton. Colonel Meyer was collector of United States internal revenue and resided in St. Louis. Dryden was tried and acquitted on a plea of self-defense. Colonel Meyer recovered from the wound.

On the afternoon of Saturday, September 21, 1879, Warrenton was again startled by the report of a murder, this time on her main thoroughfare. John Hurtgen, a blacksmith, was shot and killed by George Lee in a quarrel over a bill which Lee owed the murdered man. In the trial witnesses proved that Hurtgen had a pistol in his hand when shot by Lee, and in view of this fact, the jury brought in a verdict of acquittal and Lee was discharged.

The last crime of any consequence in the county was the most cowardly and brutal of any that have blemished the history of the county. On the night of August 30, 1903, Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Yeater, two of the best known citizens of the county, met death at their homes six miles north of Warrenton. William E. Church, an orphan, who had found an ideal home with them for many years, crept to their beds like a panther and cut the throats of the aged people while they peacefully slept. According to his own confession later, he hurriedly changed his clothes after he committed the crime, secured what money was in the home and stole through the country for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad in the southern part of the county. He then took a train for Minneapolis, later went east and enlisted in the United States navy. He was detected and arrested while on duty as guard in 1905; was brought back to the scene of his crime; confessed to the brutal deed, and paid the penalty on the gallows at the court house in Warrenton, January 8, 1907. He gave no other reason for committing this brutal crime than that he wanted to put the old people out of the way. He maintained until death that he would repeat the crime had he an opportunity.

The Bar

Among the members of the Bar of Warren County of the past were men who gained wide fame for their ability as attorneys. The first lawyer to register in the circuit court of Warren County was Ezra Hunt, He was the first circuit judge of the district of which Warren County is a part. Mr. Hunt was a native of Massachusetts. He was a man of literary attainment and was an able jurist.

Judge Carty Wells was the second circuit judge of the district. Besides being an able jurist, he was a leader in politics, and represented Warren County one term in the state legislature.

Col. Frederick Morsey was a native of Hanover, Germany. He came to America, and to Missouri the year when Warren County was organized, 1833. He received a college education, and then received special training as a civil engineer and surveyor. During the Civil war he served as colonel, and after the war settled in Warrenton as a lawyer. For many years he was a leading attorney in Warren County and Northeast Missouri.

Leonidas J. Dryden started in life with the advantage of a college education. His training as a lawyer he received in the office of his distinguished brother, John D. S. Dryden. He had a wide reputation as a student of commercial law, and was a member of the constitutional convention in 1875. He practiced his profession in Warren County from the time he was admitted to the bar until his death.

Charles E. Peers was a native of Lincoln County. He received his training in practical life, and was therefore a self-made man. His first experience in public life was as editor of the Warrenton Banner. Later he received a law training, and practiced in Warrenton until his death in 1910. He took a leading part in politics, and represented the county and district respectively in the state legislature and the state senate.

W. L. Morsey is a son of Col. Frederick Morsey, and received his law training in the office of his distinguished father. For a large number of years he served the county as prosecuting attorney. As the law partner of Charles E. Peers, he enjoyed a large practice. He was also a leading politician, and in recent years served in the capacity of assistant United States district attorney, and then as United States marshal for the Eastern district of Missouri. At present he is practicing law in his native town, Warrenton.

Peter S. Stewart was a native of Pennsylvania. He was a self-made man, and after practicing law in Warrenton a number of years, removed to Oklahoma where he continued his practice. He died in 1911.

J. W. Delvethal read law in his home on a farm in the northern part of Warren County. He was prosecuting attorney of the county two terms, and then devoted his efforts toward commercial law.

Theo. W. Hukriede, a native of the county, received his law education in the law department of the State University. After completing the course, he opened a law office in Warrenton, and from the start had a large practice. He served the county six years as prosecuting attorney, and was then elected to the position of probate judge, which position he now holds.

Emil Roehrig also graduated from the law department of the State University, and then settled in Warrenton for the practice of law. Several years later he was elected prosecuting attorney of the county, and is now serving in that capacity. He is a native of Warren County.


A history of Warren County without some mention of the world renowned frontiersman, Daniel Boone, would be incomplete. The famous hunter came to Warren County in 1798, and located near Marthasville. He soon distinguished himself as a leader and was selected as the commandant of the community. While he punished all offenders severely, yet he was just and charitable in his decisions. So fair was he in settling disputes of his people, that citizens, engaged in litigation, took their troubles to him for settlement long after local government was established.

For a quarter of a century, he resided on Warren County soil. On March 13, 1813, he suffered a great loss in the death of his devoted wife. She was buried on the Henry Dieckhaus farm on a picturesque spot on Tuque creek. The loss of his companion was a blow which he could not bear, and the brave and fearless frontiersman, who had suffered numerous, and many times almost unbearable hardships, followed his wife in death September 26, 1820. His body was laid to rest beside that of his wife on Tuque creek. There it was permitted to rest for twenty-five years, when the bodies of Boone and his wife were removed to Frankfort, Kentucky, where a costly monument was later erected to their memory. The stones which marked the graves of Boone and his wife in Warren County, were quarried on Femme Osage creek in the southern part of the county, and the names and figures were cut by John S. Wyatt a blacksmith of Marthasville. The graves remain in a sunken condition, the stones have been carried away, the burying ground neglected, and the picturesque burial place of the famous hunter in Warren county is almost forgotten.

The first deed in Warren County was recorded January 25, 1833, and it provided for the conveyance of 160 acres of land in section 13, township 47, north; range 2, west, from Guyon and Betsy Kennedy to Sarah Kennedy. The price was $640.00.

Several times in the history of the county, cyclonic storms destroyed a vast amount of property. In May, 1833, a destructive storm passed through the county. It first struck near Hopewell, and then passed through the county toward Wright City. In its path many homes, and a vast amount of property were destroyed.

In May, 1882, another cyclone passed through the county. Thousands of dollars' worth of property were destroyed in several parts of the county, though the greatest loss was suffered in Warrenton. The east wall of the college building was blown out, and many residences in the town demolished.

In May, 1896, another storm laid waste a vast amount of property, this time in the northern part of the county. The homes of Henry Boehmer, H. C. Niehuss, and F. A. Winter were completely destroyed. After passing through the county, the storm lifted, and did no further damage until it reached St. Louis.

Since the Civil War, the people of the county have suffered many hardships and reverses, and have enjoyed much pleasure and success. By industry and wise management, all obstacles and hardships were over-come, and today not a more contented and prosperous people contribute to the high standing of the state and nation than those of Warren County. Over eighty per cent, of the farmers own their own farms, and are living in modern homes, and on modernly equipped farms. The latest equipped schools, fine churches and other public buildings are found in every part of the county. The last census showed a population of almost ten thousand, a large per cent of whom are Germans. During the last twenty years the county has not had a cent of indebtedness, and therefore public funds have accumulated very rapidly. These funds are being used toward public improvements and the county boasts a modem court house and other public buildings. At present much attention is being paid toward the building of permanent public roads and also the improvement of agricultural conditions in the county.

  Northeast Missouri| Missouri Counties | Books on AHGP

Source: History of Northeast Missouri, edited by Walter Williams, Volume I, Lewis Publishing Company, 1913


Please stop in again!!

Copyright August © 2011 - 2023 AHGP - Judy White
Enjoy the work of our Webmasters, provide a link, don't copy their work.