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Reynolds County
Reynolds County
Organized February 25, 1845, from Shannon County and named for Thomas Reynolds, governor of Missouri.

County Seat: Centerville

Address:

Reynolds County
P.O. Box 10
Centerville, MO 63633

Photograph

History
In 1845 when Reynolds County was organized, Lesterville was designated as the first county seat. Courts met in the home of Joseph McNails until a small, log courthouse was built in 1846-47. Fire destroyed this structure and all county records in 1862.

For the next three years courts met in private homes until the county seat moved to Centerville. The court authorized construction of another small building of logs or rough lumber for court purposes in 1865, but it too burned on November 24th or 25th, 1871. The following day the court met in the courtyard by the ruins and appropriated $10,000 for a new building.

The third and present courthouse, a two-story brick building, originally measuring 50 by 40 feet, reportedly cost $8,000, less than the $10,000 the court had appropriated in 1871. The original specifications, which are on file at the courthouse, called for a dome and lantern, but these apparently were never built

In the 1930s when Work Projects Administration projects helped counties in building new courthouses, it was out of the question for Reynolds since there were insufficient funds to sponsor the county share. Instead, the court bought for $600 a two-story, 24-by-40-foot frame building and moved it to the southwest corner of the square.

The 1871 courthouse continues in use, a typical example of a courthouse design found in Missouri during the 19th century. The Reynolds County courthouse is one of the few in Missouri over 100 years old.

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

Additional History
The courthouse has burned twice. The first time was in December, 1863, when the confederate army burned it. A new courthouse was built in the fall of 1867 on the same foundation as the prior one. This courthouse was burned in late November, 1871. Both times all records were destroyed. Temporary quarters again burned May 27, 1872, while a new "fireproof" courthouse was being built.
Records at Courthouse

Recorder of Deeds: Index to deeds, 1872-1891; Deed records, 1872-1899; Land assessment record, 1881; Marriage records, 1872-1925.

Clerk of the County Court: Register of births and stillbirths, 1883-1886; Permanent record of births, 1883-1886; Register of deaths, 1883-1886; Permanent record of deaths, 1883-1886; State census, 1876.

Clerk of the Circuit Court: Index to circuit court records, 1872-1910; Circuit court records, 1872-1891.

Clerk of the Probate Court: Probate records, 1872-1889; Administra≠torís/executorís letters, bonds and records, 1872-1930; Inventories, appraisements and sale bills, 1875-1893; Will records, 1908-1943.

More Links
Birth & Death Records Database

Search for Reynolds County on Archives' Online Catalog

Roll by Roll Listing of Microfilm

Local Records Inventory Database

Reynolds County Marriages 1870 - 1891

Missouri Birth & Death Records Database: Search & Record Availability