Macon Co Missouri Local History & Genealogy


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Macon County Missouri

History & Genealogy

Macon County was organized from Randolph and Chariton counties. The county seat is Macon and was named after Nathaniel Macon. The area, organized at the session of the General Assembly was held in the city of Jefferson in the winters of 1836-1837. Selecting and locating the county seat (in Owenby Settlement - Bloomington) were commissioners Joseph Baker and Henry Lasiler. Two room of small log house contained the courts and an area to keep their records. A brick court house was eventually built. Rapid growth from the Hannibal and St. Joseph, the Northwest railroads, and the influence of the great rebellion necessitated a shift in the county seat from Bloomington to Macon City. At the time, Macon had a population of 3,000 and they soon built a court house and jail.
The first settler within the present boundaries of the county was James Loe. He came from Wayne County, Kentucky in 1820 to Howard County, Missouri living there until 1827. He then moved south of Callao.
Agriculture has always had an important role in county history. The late Captain William Smith of Clark County, Kentucky came to Missouri with other Kentuckians in 1839. This group claimed their land just south of present day Macon. Captain Smith then returned to Kentucky for some blue grass seed and on a subsequent trip brought a herd of Shorthorn cattle and Cotswold sheep, the first in northeast Missouri.
Woodville is the oldest town in Macon County: it was laid out in 1833 and was first called Centerville. There was a name change to Woodville in 1850.
William H. Rowland and his brother, Frederick Rowland entered the first land in Middle Fork township in 1828. They were originally from North Carolina and came to Randolph county in 1822. Middle Fork township is in the southeast corner of Macon county and gets it water from the Middle Fork of Salt River.
In early day Woodville, mail was received weekly and was carried from Macon to Paris in Monroe County and stopping at the small post offices along the way. In 1836, William R. Graves received a letter from Kentucky and he had to pay twenty five cents to retrieve it from the post office.
Nathan Walker, a Virginia native, came to Middle Fork Township in 1840. He carried the first supplies in and out of the county driving a yoke of oxen hitched to a covered wagon. His route was from Woodville to Hannibal carrying farm products.
In 1833 a grist mill, Stinking Creek, was built in Morrow Township by William Morrow, the third settler of the county. The first mill in the county (after the county was chartered) was established by Judge James C. Cochran at Bloomington in 1837. Howell Rose established the first water mill in the county.
While digging a well Alex Rector discovered coal in Macon county in 1860. Thomas Wardell began the coal industry in the county in 1861 and maintained the lead in Missouri until 1922.


Court Records

Delinquent Tax List - 1840

Marks & Brands 1837-1855

Mortality Schedule  1860

Census Records

1840 Census Index


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Patrons of the 1875 Atlas
Part I - Bevier, Callao, Chariton, Drake, Eagle, Easley,
Hudson, &  Independence Twps
Part II -Jackson, Johnson, LaPlata, Liberty, Lingo, Lyda & City of Macon
Part III - Middle Fork, Morrow, Narrows, & Richland Twps
Part IV -Round Grove, Russell, Ten Mile, Valley, Walnut Creek, & White Twps

1850 Census Index

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1860 Census Index

This n' That
Town Histories People of Macon County
Maps Research Aids
Misc. Records