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Dallas County
Dallas County
Organized January 29, 1841, from Polk County and named for George M. Dallas, diplomat and later vice-president. Originally organized as Niangua County in 1841; the name was changed to Dallas on December 16, 1844, due to the alleged difficulty in both spelling and pronouncing Niangua.

County Seat: Buffalo


Dallas County
P.O. Box 373
Buffalo, MO 65622


Niangua was the name chosen for this county when it was first organized in 1841; after boundaries were slightly changes in December 1844, officials renamed the county Dallas because Niangua was hard to spell, write and pronounce. First courts met in a log schoolhouse, according to recollections of settlers.

Levi Beckner built the first courthouse during 1846-47, a small two-story building with the courtroom on the first floor and county offices on the second. The site was on the present square. Confederate troops burned the building October 18, 1863. Fire also destroyed two subsequent emergency quarters during 1864 and 1867, consuming most county records.

During the February term of 1868 the court appointed Eleazer Hovey, a dentist, superintendent of a new courthouse to be built upon the square and appropriated $15,000. Plans which Hovey presented to the court for a 44-by-60 foot, two-story, brick building were approved in November 1868. The court awarded the contract to a A. E. Dye in February 1869. Dye, who also built Dent and Crawford County courthouses, requested and received an additional sum of $1,000 for his proposed cupola and door shutter in February 1870. The court accepted the completed building in June 1870. Final costs came to about $17,500.

This building was renovated in 1937 and the cupola was removed in 1951, but it continued in use until destroyed by fire March 2, 1955. Thomas Hart Benton immortalized this Dallas County courthouse in a painting done in the 1950s.

Voters approved a courthouse bond for $250,000 in September 1955; the court selected Eugene F. Johnson architect, and on March 16, 1956, awarded the building contract to Rex A. Kinser for $241,114. The one-story, 121-foot-square building has a partial basement conforming to the site slope. Occupying the center area in the square plan is the Circuit Court room. Completed in February 1958, the dedication ceremonies for Dallas County's present courthouse took place March 5, 1958.

Copyright 2002 University of Missouri. Published by University Extension, University of Missouri-Columbia.

Additional History

Courthouse burned October 18, 1863; July 30, 1864 and September 3, 1867.

Originally organized as Niangua County in 1841, the name was changed to Dallas on December 16, 1844, due to the alleged difficulty in both spelling and pronouncing Niangua.

Records at Courthouse

Recorder of Deeds: Index to deeds, 1867-1889; Deed records, 1867-1897; Marriage records, 1867-1919; Register of marriage licenses, 1891-1929.

Clerk of the County Court: Permanent record of births, 1883-1 908; Register of births and stillbirths, 1883-1892; Permanent record of deaths, 1888-1909; Register of deaths, 1883-1924.

Clerk of the Circuit Court: Index to circuit court records, 1867-1884; Circuit court records, 1867-1884.

Clerk of the Probate Court: Probate records, 1867-1889; Probate minutes, 1878-1884; Administratorís/executorís letters, bonds and records, 1871-1894; Inventories, appraisements and sale bills, 1871-1914; Proof of publication, notices and affidavits, 1871 -1894; Settlement records, 1871-1890; Guardianís/curatorís records, 1871-1922; Will records, 1894-1922.

More Links
Birth & Death Records Database

Search for Dallas County on Archives' Online Catalog

Roll by Roll Listing of Microfilm

Local Records Inventory Database

Missouri Birth & Death Records Database: Search & Record Availability