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Gasconade County, Missouri One Place Study

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Early History

Gasconade County is situated upon the south side of the Missouri River, seventy miles west of St. Louis. The county is named for the Gasconade River which empties into the Missouri River within its boundaries.

The county was organized from Franklin County by an act of the territorial legislature on 25 November 1820, before Missouri became a state. All the unorganized portion (nearly one fourth) of the state south and west was attached to it. It was frequently referred to as the "State of Gasconade." In 1841 it was divided, and Osage County formed. In 1869, thirty-six square miles were transferred to Crawford County. It originally included most of present Maries County.

On the north is the Missouri River; on the west, Osage and Maries Counties; on the south, Phelps and Crawford; and on the east, Franklin County.

The county's main economic sources are horticultural and agricultural. The leading products are wheat, cattle and corn. Manufactured products include wine, shoes, and flour. Historically, it produced much quality wine from several wineries and is known to be a good grape growing area. The county has large Kaolin clay deposits and many clay pits.

The people are largely of German heritage. Other ethnic groups include Swiss immigrants who founded the town of Swiss, Polish immigrants who settled north of Owensville, and Bohemians who settled south of Owensville.

A good overview of the county's history can be found here and the history of the early settlers can be found here.


  • 1804 May -- Lewis and Clark Expedition travel up the Missouri River and camp on an island at the mouth of the Gasconade River. They measured the river to be 157 yards wide and 19 foot deep.
  • 1820 November -- Gasconade County formed
  • 1830 -- County population of 1,500 people
  • 1837 -- Hermann founded by the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia. A group of seventeen individuals arrive before winter.
  • 1840 -- County population of 5,000 people
  • 1842 -- Hermann becomes county seat
  • 1849 -- Cholera epidemic in Hermann and 128 people died in three months that summer.[1]
  • 1855 November -- Gasconade River bridge collapses with more than 30 killed. It was the first major deadly bridge collapse in American history.
  • 1860 -- population of county was 8,726 with 9 "free colored" and 76 enslaved. 1 Native American was not included in the count for the census.
  • 1861 May -- Gasconade River bridge burned by Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson and General Sterling Price on their way back to Jefferson City.
  • 1864 October -- General Sterling Price's raid crossed the county from east to west through the town of Hermann.
  • 1870 -- County population of 10,000 people
  • 1918 - 1920 Influenza epidemic
  • 1942 - 1945 -- Over 660 men enlisted for military service during World War II.
  • 1945 January -- Launch of USS Gasconade (APA-85) named after Gasconade County.
  • 2000 -- County population of 15,000 people, consisting of approximately 6,000 households


  • Boeuf Township
  • Boulware Township
  • Bourbois Township
  • Brush Creek Township
  • Canaan Township
  • Clay Township
  • Richland Township
  • Roark Township
  • Third Creek Township

Founders and First Families


Towns & Post Offices

  • Bartonsville -- The county seat before Osage and Maries Counties were formed. The county seat was moved here in 1825 when Gasconade City, the first county seat, was flooded. In 1828 Bartonsville flooded, and the county seat was moved to Mt. Sterling. Spelled Bartonville in the History of Franklin County.[2] It was located on the Gasconade River in what is now Osage County. The origin of the name could not be determined.[3]
  • Bay -- A post office in central Boulware Township. The origin of the name could not be determined.[3]
  • Bem -- A discontinued post office in Brush Creek Township. The origin of the name could not be determined. Formerly known as Beaver because there were so many beavers in Dry Fork Creek Bottom. The name was changed when the post office was established because there was another Beaver in Missouri.[3]
  • Bland -- A town in western Clay Township. Named for Richard P. Bland, who was for many years a member of Congress for Missouri from the district of which Osage County formed a part.[2][3]
  • Canaan -- In the eastern part of the county in Canaan Township. Named for the Biblical place of Canaan.
  • Charlotte Post Office -- A discontinued post office[3] located southeast of Drake.
  • Cleavesville -- A discontinued post office in Clay Township. Named for Cleaveland Luster, the first storekeeper.[2][3]
  • Delphi Post Office -- A discontinued post office in Bourbois Township. It was still a post office in 1860. Neither the location nor the origin of the name is known.[3]
  • Douglas Prairie -- Named for Fred Douglas, who owned the land. The prairie land was first settled by Uriah Shockley in 1838, but he abandoned his claim to Samuel Burchard, who then sold it to Douglas.[2][3]
  • Drake -- A post office in Boeuf Township, named for Senator Charles D. Drake, United States Senator from Missouri (1867-1871).[2][3]
  • Ehlenberg -- In Roark Township. Nothing could be learned of this place.[3]
  • Fredericksburg -- A post office in western Richland Township on the Gasconade River established in 1853 and discontinued in 1922. It was named for a Fredericks family who were the first settlers. The place was once a summer resort. It touches the county line, and before 1892 the post office was located across the line in Osage County. It is now an unincorporated area.[2][3]
  • Gasconade -- Near the mouth of the Gasconade River for which it is named. It was the first county seat. In 1825 on account of a flood, the county seat was moved to Bartonsville. It once came within two votes of securing the state capital instead of Jefferson City. It was also known as Gasconade City. There was a government boat yard there.[2][3]
  • Gasconade Ferry Post Office -- A discontinued post office on the Gasconade River in Richland Township. Named for the Gasconade River.[3]
  • Gebler Post Office -- A discontinued post office in Roark Township. Named for W.S. Gebler, a pioneer who established a store there.[3]
  • Halloway Post Office -- A discontinued post office. Nothing could be learned of this place.[3]
  • Hermann -- A town on the Missouri River in Roark Township. Hermann was purchased, laid out, and settled by the "German Settlement Society of Philadelphia" on 2 November 1837. The post office was established in 1840. Many of the historic buildings such as the Deutschheim home (now a state historic site) were built of brick or stone and constructed in the German style. Named for the German hero, Herman, usually known as Arminius, (17 B.C.-21 A.D.) who defeated the Romans in the Alps.[3] Description from 1920
  • Johnson Station -- An abandoned village in eastern Canaan Township, east of Rosebud. Named for Dr. Johnson, who lived there and owned the land. There was a railroad siding there.[3]
  • Lange Store Post Office -- A discontinued post office named for E. Lange, Sr., who built a store there in 1858. It was located about three miles south of Morrison and northeast of Fredericksburg][2][3]
  • Leander Post Office -- A discontinued post office located in the center of the county, east of Woollam, in northeast Canaan Township. Was listed as a post office in the Missouri gazetteer in 1860, and could have been around since 1856.[3]
  • Leduc -- A discontinued post office in Bourbois Township. Appears as Loduc on a 1880 map. Leduc (French) means "the duke." Named for an early family.[2][3]
  • Little Berger Post Office -- A discontinued post office in Roark Township near the head of Little Berger Creek, for which it is obviously named.
  • Manda Post Office -- A discontinued post office located near the center of the county. The post office was first in the farmhouse of John Tschappler (1840 - 1913). It was first named Zoar for Zoar Church nearby. The mail was frequently missent to Zoar so Mr. Tschappler was allowed to choose a new name for the post office. He named it for his daughter, Amanda W. (Tschappler) Schneider (1895 - 1983). By 1938 it no longer existed.
  • Margaret Post Office -- A discontinued post office in south Clay Township.
  • Morrison -- A town in the northwest corner of Richland Township on the Missouri River. Named for Alfred W. Morrison, who owned a large plantation there in early days.
  • Mount Sterling -- A town in western Boulware Township on the Gasconade River. It was the third location of the county seat. It is on Starky's Bluff, which is named for Joel Starky, who entered the land on May 10, 1825. It is also known as Shockley's Bluff for Thomas Shockley, who bought the land from Joel Starky on July 14, 1825 and lived there. The county seat remained here from 1828 to 1842, when it was moved to Hermann. There was a post office in 1860. The origin of the name, Mt. Sterling, can not be determined.
  • Owensville -- A town in Canaan Township. Named for the first settler there, a Mr. Owen. In partnership with E. Luster, Mr. Owen opened the first store there. It is said that in naming the village, they could not decide whether to call it Owensville or Lusterville. The two men agreed to pitch a game of horseshoes, and the winner was to be honored with the name. Mr. Owen won the game. It is the largest town in the county.
  • Pershing -- A post office in southwest Richland Township on the Gasconade River. Originally known as Potsdam. The settlers came from Potsdam, Germany, and it is said they named the place for their old home. On the other hand, there actually was a man named Potts who built a dam and a mill here, and it is said also that the place was so named for that reason. During the World War, due to national feeling, the name was changed to Pershing for General John J. Pershing.
  • Redbird -- The land, located in Bourbois Township, was first settled about 1840 by James Miller. A post office was established in 1883 and given that name by the first postmaster E.R. Bowen (grandson of Colonel Isaiah Bowen), because he thought it would be easy to spell and remember, and because there were many red birds in the woods there.
  • Rosebud -- A village post office in east Canaan Township. It was first known as Snider's Store for the owner of the store. Later the name was changed to Bourbois after the Bourbeuse River (which is often spelled Bourbois). Bourbois was about a mile from the present site of Rosebud. The name was changed from Bourbois because the mail was frequently missent to Bourbon. The orign of the name could not be discovered. Highway 50 runs through the town.
  • Smith's Creek Post Office -- A discontinued post office that was later moved to Osage County.
  • Stony Hill -- A post office in eastern Boeuf Township. Named from the fact that the hillside where the post office was first situated was covered with stones.
  • Swiss -- A post office in northwestern Boeuf Township. So named because most of the inhabitants are from Switzerland.
  • Tea -- A discontinued post office. It was first known as Baur for C.K. Baur, first postmaster and blacksmith. Baur sold his property to Mr. Schaefferkoetter who built a store. Later the store was located at the present site of Tea. It is said that when customers wanted whiskey, they would call for tea, and the place came to be called Tea. Located in southern Canaan Township.
  • Woollam -- A discontinued post office in southeast Third Creek Township on Cedar Fork. Named for a person named Wollam who established a post office and owned a store sometime before 1860. Others say he was a journeyman tailor. This was the site of the old town. The store and post office were later moved to another site and retained the post office name. When speaking of the two sites, the people of the neighborhood use the terms Old Wollam and New Woollam.

Historic Places

Places on the National Register

  • Peenie Petroglyph Archeological Site -- Located near Bem, includes petroglyphs identified as a crescent, star/supernova and rabbit tracks.
  • Ruskaup House -- German farmhouse constructed by Heinrich Ruskaup about 1845 to 1850, nominated for its variation in rubble construction. Located near Drake.


There are many cemeteries within the county. Two good places to check are Find A Grave and Billion Graves.


  • Beemont Methodist Church -- In eastern Boeuf Township. Named for the village of Beemont which is across the county line in Franklin County.
  • Mount Pleasant Baptist Church -- In southeast Bourbois Township. A descriptive name. Organized in 1844.
  • Oak Forest Baptist Church -- In southwest Bourbois Township near an oak forest for which it is named.
  • Red Oak Methodist Church -- In eastern Canaan Township. Named for Red Oak Creek on which it is located.
  • Salem Baptist Church -- In southern Canaan Township. Salem is an ancient name for Jerusalem.
  • Zoar Methodist Church -- In Third Creek Township. Zoar was the place to which Lot and his daughters escaped and which was spared when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, because of its littleness (GEN. xix. 22). The name means little. Also known as New Wollam Methodist Church for the village of New Woollam at which it is located.


  • Barbarick School -- In southern Third Creek Township. Named for Joseph Barbarick on whose farm it is located.
  • Collier School -- In southwest Brush Creek Township. So named because it is located on the Collier farm.
  • Hemby School -- In southern Brush Creek Township. A family name Hemby.
  • Hinton School -- In Canaan Township. Named for the Hinton family.
  • Lost Hill School -- In western Boulware Township. So called because it is on a lone hill in the prairie, apparently lost from any range of hills.

Forks and Creeks

Many descriptions of locations include a reference to a creek or river.

  • Bailey's Creek -- A tributary of the Missouri River. Named for the Bailey family who entered the land on it.
  • Big Berger Creek -- Rises in Boeuf Township and empties into the Missouri River. Pike calls it Shepherd River, and Lewis and Clark, ed. 1893, p. 9, Shepherd dr. Coue's note, 365, says, "I am told by R.J. Holcombe that the word is not the common French noun "berger," a shepherd, but a personal name, probably of the old German pioneer Caspar Burger, a founder of the colony there; if so, it should not have been translated into English. The word is mangled into "Boeger" on the beautiful chart of the Missouri River Comm." Also spelled Burger. Berger, in French, means shepherd. The soft pronunciation of the "g" would indicate that the word is French.
  • First Creek -- A tributary of the Gasconade River. Rises in Boulware Township and flows through Roark Township and Richland Township. So named because it is the first large creek in Gasconade County up the river from its mouth.
  • Sugar Creek -- A tributary of the Gasconade River in Boulware Township. So called for the many sugar maple trees along its banks. Also known as Sugar Camp Creek because there used to be a sugar camp on it.
  • Third Creek -- A tributary of the Gasconade River in Third Creek Township. So named because it is the third largest creek in the county up the river from its mouth.
  • Turkey Creek -- A tributary of Second Creek in Boulware Township. So named from the wild turkeys which were once numerous here.
  • Wallace Creek -- A tributary of Dry Fork in Bourbois Township. Named for an early family named Wallace who lived on it.
  • Watson's Fork -- Joins Dry Fork to form the Bourbese River in Brush Creek Township. Named for the Watson family in that section.



  • Biographies from Goodspeed's "History of ... Gasconade Counties," 1888. A to M and M to W.


  • 1830 Federal Census List of head of households
  • 1850 Federal Census Index The Townships of Boulware and Richland listed names of those who had enslaved people in their household. In Boulware, 13 enslavers had 42 enslaved. In Richland, 10 enslavers had 72 enslaved. List
  • 1860 Federal Census statistics show the total county population of 8,726, with 8,641 white, 9 free colored, and 76 slaves counted in the county. There was one Indian that was not included in the count. List The counts for enslaver and enslaved by township: Boeuf 2 -- 3. Brush Creek 2 -- 4. Burbois 4 -- 16. Canaan 6 -- 17. Town of Hermann 1 -- 1. Richland 8 -- 27. Third Creek 5 -- 8. List
  • State Census of 1876. Search.
  • State census index Search

Church Records

  • Baptism
  • Marriage
  • Burial

Land Records

  • Held by Recorder of Deeds in County Courthouse.


  • Bird's eye view of the city of Hermann, 1869. Image from Library of Congress.
  • Land ownership map, 1875, from LOC
  • Herman Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, September 1892, from LOC
  • Herman Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, July 1898, from LOC
  • Standard Atlas of Gasconade County, Including a Plat Map of the Villages, 1913



Probate Records

  • Held by Probate Judge

Vital Records

  • Birth Records: 1867 - 1897 held by the County Clerk. State Archives microfilm covers 1828 - 1907. Abstracts of pre-1910 Births and Stillbirths can be searched. Registration by state begins in 1910.
  • Death Records: 1883 - 1901 held by the County Clerk. State Archives microfilm covers 1883 - 1896; 1900 - 1920. Abstracts of pre-1910 Deaths can be searched. Registration by state begins in 1910. Death Certificates 1910 - 1969.
  • Marriage: held by Probate Judge.

Missouri State Archives states: Gasconade County – a majority of these birth records cover 1883-1890. Volume 1 of the birth register books covers 1828-1907, but includes very few records. The Register of Deaths includes one death for 1901. There is another book called County Court Death Records on microfilm reel #C47007 that includes deaths from 1900-1920. These are NOT part of the online database. (Those records from 1910-1920 may also be found in the post-1910 death certificate database.)


  • Bek, William G. The German Settlement Society of Philadelphia and Its Colony Hermann, Missouri, 1907. View online. Reprint: Historic Hermann, 1984.
  • Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Gasconade County, Missouri: With Homesteads, Roads, Waterways, Towns, Cemeteries, Railroads, and More. Norman, Okla.: Arphax Publishing Co., 2008. Deluxe Edition.
  • Early Gasconade County, Missouri, Marriage Index 1822-1850. Salt Lake City: Hunting for Bears, [2008].
  • Gasconade County Cemetery Survey. Gasconade County Historical Society, 1985.
  • Gasconade County History Owensville, Missouri, Volume I, 1979. Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Company, 1979, 1988.
  • Gasconade County, Missouri Family History Book, Volume II. Paducah, Ky.: Turner Publishing Company, 2004.
  • Gasconade County, Missouri, Records. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 2011.
  • Good & Faithful Servants: St. Peter Evangelical Church, Fredericksburg, Missouri. Compiled by Roberta Vaughan Schwinke, 2004.
  • Hesse, Anna Kemper. Centenarians of Brick, Wood and Stone: Hermann, Missouri. Anna Hesse, 1969.
  • Hesse, Anna. Gasconade County Tours. Revised Edition. Anna Hess, 1975.
  • History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford, and Gasconade Counties, Missouri. Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1888. View online. Index to biographies.
  • History of Gasconade County, Missouri. Reprint of History of Franklin...1888. Hermann: Gasconade County Historical Society, 2004.
  • History of Hermann, Missouri: Home of the Maifest. View online.
  • In All Generations: Zion St. Peter United Church of Christ, Pershing, Missouri. Compiled by Roberta Vaughan Schwinke, 2008.
  • Known Descendants of Daniel Crider, Senior, Pioneer Settler of Gasconade County, Missouri, 1988. View online.
  • Rademacher, Anna Mae. The First Hundred Years: A History of the Woollam United Methodist Church, 1889-1989. Owensville, Mo.: Custom Printing, [1989].
  • Seba, John D. Third Creek Traveler: Comparative Reminiscences of John D. Seba, M.D. Bland, Mo.: Information Enterprises, 2005.
  • Shrader, Dorothy H. Hermann Sesquicentennial: August 27, 1986. The City of Hermann, Missouri Presents Hermann 1836 A Dream in Philadelphia, 1986 A Town in Missouri. Hermann: Graf Printing Co., 1986.

Wikitree Pages For Gasconade County


  1. "Early Troubles," The Gasconade Advertiser-Courier (Hermann, Missouri), 7 July 1876, p. 4, col. 2. : 11 October 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford, and Gasconade Counties, Missouri. Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1888.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 Weber, Frank. "Place Names of Six South Central Counties of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1938.

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