Warren County Towns and Villages

Callaway's Fort

The first village on what is now Warren County soil, is said to have been established at the mouth of Charrette creek, near Marthasville, about the year 1763. In 1795 the renowned Kentucky hunter, Daniel Boone, and his son-in-law, Flanders Callaway, established a fort, known as Callaway's Fort, several miles west of Marthasville. Both of these settlements, however, were destroyed many years ago by the treacherous currents of the Missouri river, and at present only the story of these early settlements, as handed down from time to time, remains. The village of Marthasville was the first town settled in Warren County. The exact date of the settlement of this town is not known, though it was about the year 1800. For many years in the pioneer period it was the principal landing place for all the territory now comprising Warren County. Its shipping interests at that time was an immense business. It is now a town of about four hundred population, is located in a rich farming community, on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, and enjoys a substantial trade from the surrounding country. It boasts a good school, several churches, a good bank, four or five general merchandise stores and other business firms.

Dutzow and Holstein

Other villages established in the southern part of the county are Dutzow, five miles east of Marthasville; Holstein, five miles west of Marthasville and Hopewell, about the same distance north. Dutzow and Holstein are villages of two hundred population each, while Hopewell has only one store and several residences. The date of settlement of these early towns is not known. In later years villages were established at Concord Hill and Peers, both about three miles west of Marthasville. The town of Treloar was built on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, near Holstein shortly after the road was built. It is now a busy town in a very fine farming community, and compares well in size with its older neighbors.


In 1833, when Warren County was organized, the question of a location of a permanent seat of justice became a matter of intense public interest. Property owners in various parts of the county made a very spirited and bitter fight to secure the coveted prize. After several years of fighting, a board of commissioners, appointed by the state legislature, finally selected the present site of Warrenton in 1835. This commission was composed of James Finley, Benjamin Emmaus and John Smith. In 1838 the first court house, costing $2,500, was built. Pending the completion of the building, the sessions of the court were held in the home of Joseph B. Wells, which later became the hardware store of John Middlekamp. After the permanent seat of justice was secured, the town at once entered upon a career of prosperity. The first store was opened by Ford and Munson. John M. Faulconer was the first school teacher. Church services were held in the court house until 1855 when the Methodists erected a wooden church. The same year the Baptists built a church.

Through the years from the establishment of the town until the Civil War, the growth was very slow. The manufacture of tobacco was the chief industry. Since the Civil War, when Central Wesleyan College was located in Warrenton, it has enjoyed a steady and healthy growth. While at this time it does not rank with the larger cities of the state, yet it occupies an enviable place among the county seat towns of Missouri. The location is excellent and its people have always enjoyed the reputation of a hospitable, energetic and enterprising community. It is now a town of 1,000 people, and is known as the town of beautiful homes. It's neat and beautiful appearance and its continual growth is due largely to the influence of the Central Wesleyan College, and the Central Wesleyan Orphan Home; also because it is the county seat. There are a good high school, four churches, two banks, two newspapers, six general stores and other business houses and firms. It is located on the main line of the Wabash, sixty miles west of St. Louis.

Wright City

Wright City is the only village in Hickory Grove Township, and is situated about seven miles east of Warrenton on the Wabash. The village was located and plotted in 1857 by Dr. H. C. Wright for whom the town was named. Some of the early settlers were: A. P. McConnell, who built the first store; C. M. Bryan, the first blacksmith; Henry Ordelheide and others. Before the Civil War, the nearest school was two miles from the village. In 1865 a school house was built, and since that time the village has enjoyed the best of educational advantages.


A post office was established at Pitts in the early sixties which was maintained for many years. Since the establishment of the rural mail route, the office was abandoned, as was also the village, except as used for farm residences.


In 1858 Pendleton, five miles west of Warrenton, was laid out by the Wabash railroad. Among the early settlers of this village were Job Price, Capt. J. W. McFadden, George Wright, A. S. Wood and John Skinner. The town now has one general store and about a dozen residences. Gerdeman's store, a mile from the town, does a large business.


The village of Truesdale derives its name from William Truesdale, who plotted and laid out the village. Ground for the Wabash depot and switch yard was given to the railroad on condition that the town be named after him. Among the first settlers were Stephen Austin, Alfred Johnson, F. G. Meinershagen and Michael Kelly. Truesdale and Warrenton make up one town of a population of 1500. Several unsuccessful efforts were made to unite the two towns. A great deal of grain, stock, fire clay and hardwood timber is shipped from Truesdale. It boasts two churches, a good school, two stores and a blacksmith shop. The population is 500.


In the early '90s, the village of Morsey in the northern part of the county, was established. A store and a blacksmith shop were maintained for some years, though both are now abandoned. In 1904 the village of New Truxton was laid out by the Burlington railroad in the extreme northern part of the county. It now has a population of 100, has a school, two stores and a blacksmith shop.


© 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