AHGP Transcription Project

Lincoln County

Lincoln County, in the eastern part of the State, is bounded north by Pike County, east by the Mississippi River, which separates it from Illinois, south by St. Charles and Warren, and west by Warren, Montgomery and Pike Counties, and contains 396,148 acres.

Population in 1820, 1,662; in 1830, 4,059; in 1840, 7,449; in 1850, 9,421; in 1860, 14,210; in 1870, 15,960, of whom 13,973 were white, and 1,987 colored; 8,281 male, and 7,679 female; 15,002 native, (11,290 born in Missouri) and 958 foreign.

Major Christopher Clark was, probably, the first white man to settle permanently in what is now Lincoln County. Long before that time the French and Spanish Governments had made grants of land in this county, as the records of the circuit court show that in 1797, Louis Brazeau executed in St. Louis a deed of trust to Antoine Soulard, on a part of his grant, in the vicinity of Cap an Gris. No actual settlements, however, were made upon these grants at so early a date. Major Clark visited the spot upon which Troy now stands, in the summer of 1799, and returned the following year to build a cabin and subsequently a stockade fort near the present residence of Frederick Wing, Esq., three miles south-east of Troy on the St. Charles road. Major Clark's first neighbors were the families of Joseph Cottle and Zadock Woods from Vermont, who settled the town of Troy in 1802. Here, also, a log fort was erected, and for many years these two forts (Clark's and Wood's) were the centers of white settlements, and places of note. In 1800, Jeremiah Groshong settled 6 miles east of Clark's Fort, and the same year his son Jacob was born. He was the first white person born in Lincoln County and resides still at the same place.

During the war of 1812, the Indians were active in hostilities. Every settlement had its stockade fort for the protection of the families of the settlers, while the men were organized and armed for the common defense. Many skirmishes took place, the most notable one near Cap au Gris in 1814, when parts of two companies of regulars were surrounded and massacred.

In 1817, George W. Jameson and Edward Cottle left Clark's Fort, crossed West Cuivre and settled upon land now owned by Thomas Dwyer, Esq., 2 1/2 miles east of Millwood. They were the first settlers in that section, and there Jameson lived until his death, 43 years later.

Lincoln County was organized from a part of St. Charles, December 14th, 1818. Major Clark, a member of the Legislature in 1818, was a genuine frontiersman, noted rather for strong common sense and energy than for education and polished manners. He was an earnest advocate of the bill to establish Lincoln County, and his speech in its favor, considered a "clincher," is handed down entire: "Mr. Speaker, I'm in favor of the new county. I was born in Lincoln County, North Carolina; I lived, a year or so, in Lincoln County, Kentucky, and I want to live and die in Lincoln County, Missouri."

January 1st, 1819, David Todd was appointed judge of the north-western circuit, comprising the counties of Howard, Cooper, Montgomery, Pike, and Lincoln.

The first term of this court for Lincoln was held April 5th, 1819, at the house of Zadock Woods, Wood's Fort, or Troy, as it was afterward called. There were present Judge Todd, John Ruland, clerk, and David Bailey, sheriff. Ira Cottle and James White were approved as securities for the latter. Joseph Cottle, John Null, Prospect K. Robbins, Sam. H. Lewis, Thackers Vivions, Job Williams, Alembe Williams, Jr., Jeremiah Groshong, John Bell, Jacob Null, Sr., John Hunter, Elijah Collard, Wm. Farrell, Jacob Null, Jr., Isaac Cameron, Hiram Millsapps, Alembe Williams, Sr., and Zachariah Callaway were appointed a grand jury.

At the third term of the court held December 6th, 1819, David Draper, Hugh Cummins, Jas. White, Abraham Kennedy and David Bailey were appointed commissioners to select a county seat, and chose Monroe. The county revenue for 1819 was $175.66. The first county court met January 1821, and consisted of Ira Cottle and Jonathan Riggs, and afterward John Geiger. In 1823 the county seat was moved to Alexandria, and in February, 1829, to Troy.

Eleazar Block, a native of Bohemia, was the first foreigner naturalized, February 6th, 1827. Immigration was gradual until 1838, in which, and the following year, it was very largely increased, principally from Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio and Vermont. Quite a number of Germans and a few Irish have also settled here.

In 1843-4 the county was much disturbed by the "Slicker War." (For origin and particulars of which see Benton County, p. 59.)

Cuivre River, forming part of the boundary line between St. Charles and Lincoln Counties, was first navigated by steamboats in the early summer of 1844, when the Bee, a small stern-wheel boat of 75 tons burthen, went up as far as the mouth of Big Creek. Soon after, during the high water in June, the Pearl, of 125 tons, passed over the dam half a mile beyond Moscow Mills, and returned. During that summer the back water from the Mississippi extended over the mill-dam at Moscow. Since that time small steamboats have, for several months nearly every summer, plied up the Cuivre to Lynchburgh, at the mouth of Big Creek.

During the late Civil War Lincoln furnished many men to both armies, and, in common with other counties, experienced a check to its prosperity and a marked decrease in its population; but since peace was declared its growth has been quite rapid.

Physical Features
The face of the country is gently rolling, about one-quarter prairie and three-quarters timber. The soil is of great depth, and wonderfully fertile, especially in the bottoms.

The Mississippi River forms the eastern boundary of the county. The North Cuivre enters at the north-west corner, and the West Cuivre below the center of the west line, and, uniting near the center of the county, flow southeast into the Mississippi. Bob's Bryant, Hurricane, Sugar, Sulphur, Lead, Turkey and Big Creeks, besides numerous smaller tributaries, afford abundant water for all purposes.

The county is well timbered, principally by the different varieties of oak, black and white walnut, red and white elm, hickory, ash, maple, sycamore, pecan, mulberry and locust.

The Agricultural Productions are wheat, corn, oats, rye, barley, tobacco, clover, timothy, potatoes, apples, peaches, grapes, etc. A fine quality of tobacco is raised, and the bluffs of the Mississippi yield unfailing crops of apples and grapes. Lincoln is essentially an agricultural county.

Mineral Resources
There are large deposits of a good quality of coal, the beds being sometimes 20 feet thick. Iron has been found, but not developed. Pure white sandstone is abundant in the northern, and superior glass-sand is found in the central part of the county; blue and white limestone exist in large quantities.

The Manufacturing Interests are mentioned under the heads of the several towns where located.

Valuation of the county per census of 1870, $10,000,000.*

The St. Louis, Hannibal & Keokuk Rail Road will pass through the county from north to south, having 30 miles of track already graded. When completed, the company will build a branch 7 miles long to the coal mines, and another 3 miles to the deposits of glass-sand on Mill Creek. The Mississippi Valley & Western Rail Road has 25 miles of track graded in the eastern part of the county. Another railroad is projected from Cap au Gris to the western limits, to connect with the St. Louis, Kansas City & Northern Rail Way.

The Exports are hogs, cattle, mules, wheat, tobacco, hay, wool, hides, leather and wooden boxes.

Educational Interests
Public schools are established in 82 sub-districts, and many neat and commodious school-houses have been built since i867. The township school fund is about $27,550. Troy has 2 brick academy buildings.

Lincoln County Places in 1875

Auburn, 11 miles north of Troy, has 2 stores, 2 churches-Presbyterian and colored Methodist, and an academy. Population about 100.

Burr Oak Valley, (Robinson's Mill,) 18 miles east north east of Troy, has 2 stores, 1 grist and saw-mill, and 1 church-Christian. Population about 50.

Cap au Gris, on the Mississippi, 18 miles east of Troy, has 2 stores and 1 school. Population, about 60.

Chain of Rocks, on Cuivre River, 12 miles south east of Troy, has 4 stores, 1 planing-mill, 1 steam saw and grist-mill, 1 lumber yard, 1 tobacco box factory, and 1 wagon shop. Population, about 50. There is a ferry across the river at this point.

Chantilly, a post-office 9 miles east of Troy, has 1 store.

Corso, a post-office 4 miles west of Millwood.

Cuivre, a post-office 12 miles north west of Troy, has 1 store.

Dryden, 8 miles north east of Troy, has 1 store and 1 church-Baptist. Population, about 50.

Falmouth, on the Mississippi River, 22 miles north east of Troy, has 2 stores. Population, about 40.

Hawk Point, a post-office 8 miles west of Troy, has 1 store.

Linn's Mills, 6 miles south west of Troy, has 1 store, and a grist and saw-mill. Population, about 20.

Lost Branch, (Nineveh,) 18 miles west north west of Troy, has 2 stores and 1 grist and saw-mill. Population, about 50.

Louisville, 21 miles north west of Troy, has 3 stores, 1 church-Christian, cost, $4,000, and 1 school. Population, about 100.

Millwood, 12 miles north west of Troy, has 4 stores, 1 church-Catholic, cost, $6,000; 1 school, and a carding machine. Population, about 90.

Monroe-See Old Monroe.

New Hope, 14 miles north east of Troy, has 5 stores, 1 saw and grist-mill, 1 school and 3 churches-Baptist, Christian and Methodist. Population about 200.

New Salem, 6 miles north west of Cap au Gris, has 1 store and 1 church. Population about 25.

Nineveh-See Lost Branch.

Old Alexandria, a post-office 5 miles north of Troy.

Old Monroe, (Monroe,) on Cuivre River, 12 miles east south east of Troy, was laid out May 19th, 1819, on lands of Ira and Joseph Cottle and Nathanael Symonds. From 1819 to 1823 it was the county seat. It has 2 churches-Catholic and Lutheran, 1 store, 1 hotel, 1 warehouse and a ferry. Population about 40.

Robinson's Mill-See Burr Oak Valley.

TROY, the county seat, 4 miles south of the center of the county, 14 miles north west of Wentzville, St. Charles County, (which is on the St. Louis, Kansas City & Northern Rail Way,) and 1 1/2 miles west of Cuivre River, was settled in 1802, surveyed September 16th, 1819, on the lands of Joseph Cottle, Zadock Woods, Lee F. T. Cottle and I. N. Robbins (previous to which it was known as Wood's Fort), incorporated November 7th, 1826, and made the county seat in 1829. The business portion and many dwellings are located in a pleasant valley, while most of the latter occupy the adjacent sunny slopes. The main street is handsomely built up with substantial brick business houses, and the town presents an attractive appearance. Troy possesses many advantages as a business center, being surrounded by a fine agricultural country; convenient to coal and iron; having at its limits an abundant supply of timber, and large quarries of limestone capable of a fine finish, besides having water power sufficient for manufacturing purposes. The machine shops of the St. Louis, Hannibal & Keokuk Rail Road are to be located here. The court-house is a fine new building in modern style, and is provided with fire-proof vaults. The town has 5 churches-Presbyterian, Christian, Baptist, M. E. Church and colored M. E. Church-aggregate value $30,000, 2 public schools, 1 seminary, 1 steam saw and grist-mill, 1 tannery, 1 wool-carding machine, 1 wagon factory, 2 hotels, 3 saddle and harness shops, 15 stores, 1 lumber yard, 1 Masonic and 1 Odd Fellows hall, and 1 newspaper-The Herald, published weekly, by Fisher & Mudd. Population about 1,200.

Truxton, 16 miles west of Troy, and 8 miles from Jonesburg, was laid out July 29th, 1852. It has 2 churches-M. E. Church and Lutheran, 1 seminary, 1 steam saw and grist-mill, 1 wool-carding machine, 3 stores and 1 wagon shop. Population about 150.

*Assessed valuation in 1873, $4,119,660. Taxation, $2.05 per $100. Bonded debt $270,000.

Source: Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, Revised Edition, by R. A. Campbell, Published by R. A. Campbell,
St. Louis, Missouri, 1875

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