Welcome to Hickory County, Missouri
1885 Description of Hickory County
History of Hickory County
1872 Map of Hickory County
Excerpts from The Index (local paper)
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The following description of Hickory County is a transcription, complete with many misspellings and grammatical errors, of the county description contained in the very first issue of The Index, the county's Republican weekly newspaper since July 1885.
HERMITAGE, MO. FRIDAY, JULY 24, 1885. VOL. 1, NO. 1
Discription of Hickory County.
Hickory County, contains 411 sqr. miles, was laid of in 1847, has a population of 10,000 and is situated in the northern part of south west Missouri about equal distance from the Mo. PAC. Mo. & Texas and Frisco R. R.ís and 15 miles north of Boliver the present terminus of the Bolivar Branch, of Frisco R. R. and 15 miles south of Warsaw, the terminus of the S. W. & S. R. R. The Gulf R. R. Company are now building a line of road from Kansas City south that comes within two or three miles of the county line at the south west corner of the county, and another road has been surveyed which will run through the south west part of the county. The northern part of the county is within a short distance of the Osage river. The Pomme de Terre river runs through the county from the south near its center; on this river there are farms having as fine lands as can be found in the world. About one third of the land in the county is prairieónice level and rolling prairie which is now mostly enclosed either for farming or pasture. The prairies on the east and on the west side of the county, run the whole length of the county, leaving the strip through the middle of the county timber land, among which there are some very fine farms. Of timber we have all kinds that usually grow in this climate such as oaks of various kinds, walnuts, ash, hickory, hard and soft maple, linn, hackberry, sycamore, cherry, sassafras, red-bud, etc. This county is healthy, and the lands very productive. The products are corn, wheat, oats, flax, fruits of all kinds that will grow in this climate, cattle, horses, mules, sheep and hogs. Both tame and wild grasses grow luxuriantly in the meadows, on the prairies and in the valleys. Some very fine lead prospects have been found in the county, and it is generally believed that almost all of the hilly portion of the county, is underlaid with this metal, but owing to low prices in lead, not much effort is now being made to develop it. The improvements in buildings, making farms, planting orchards, vineyards and cultivating the soil is daily increasing.
DEBT AND TAXATION.
The county has no bonded debt. When other counties in this part of the state were being swindled in railroad projects Hickory county stood back and took no part in such enterprises; and while her sister counties owe from $35,000 to $300,000, Hickory has nothing to pay and has no trouble. State, county and road taxes are only 90 cents on the 100 valuation; the school tax from 10 cents to 65 cents on the $100 valuation. The only matter that can be said to be a debt on the county in any way is a small amount of county warrants that are out and unpaid; but this will be taken up in a year or two. The assessed valuation of the county is $1,750,000.
The people socially and morally, of this county will compare favorably with those of any state in the Union. Our criminal docket is generally small and most of the cases are misdemeanors. No man was ever convicted of murder in the county and hanged, and but one has been sent to the penitentiary for murder during the last 20 years.
Hickory county has quiet, peaceable, orderly citizens, and as many of them to her population as any county in America.
We have plenty of good churches and school houses. We have fifty public schools in the county, which have school terms from four to nine months each year. Besides we have Weaubleau Christian Institute which is a fine graded school.
Nearly all of our people go to church of Sundays, and most of the school districts have Sunday schools.
The county has a permanent school fund of $16,000, which is loaned out, and the annual interest, $1,000 is distributed among the schools every year.
The villages in this county are numerous but small. There is not a village of 400 inhabitants in the county.
Hermitage, the county seat, is situate in the center of the county; and has about 200 inhabitants, has one hotel, two newspapers, four stores, two blacksmith shops, a fair frame school house and a large fine brick church. Her buildings are generally good. A large new flouring mill is now in operation and doing good work.
Wheatland is situated five miles west of Hermitage, on the east side of the twenty-five mile prairie. It has a population of about 250, with a beautiful location, and is a live business place; has two very large dry goods stores, hardware store, harness shop, two grocery stores, three drug stores, furniture store, steam flouring mill, three hotels, three or four blacksmith shops, a large two story frame school house and many good residences, is the largest town in the county.
Quincy is situated in the north-western portion of the county, has a population of about a 100; two good dry goods stores, one drug store, one grocery store, one blacksmith and wood shop, one hotel, good flouring mill, good large frame school house, is a good business point.
Elkton is situated in the south-western portion of the county, in a very fine section of country. It has two good dry goods stores, one drug store, two hotels, two blacksmith shops, and is in a good place to do business.
Weaubleau is situated in the western part of the county on the survey of the Baily R. R. on Weaubleau prairies, has three dry goods stores, two hotels, one drug store, one grocery store, two shops, a fine brick school house.: "The Weaubleau Christian Institute," and a fine graded school, also good two story frame public school building, and fine flouring mill.
Pittsburg is in the south-eastern part of the county, in the midst of a fine farming country; it has one large dry goods store, one drug store, two blacksmith shops and a public school building.
Preston is in the eastern part of the county. It is situated at the west side of the Fifteen mile Prairie in the midst of a very fine farming country, and contains 3 good dry goods stores, one wood shop, two blacksmith shops, a fine frame school house, and also a framed church with a masonic hall above.
Crosstimbers is situated on the west side of the North Prairie. It has a beautiful location, and contains two dry goods stores, one drug store, two blacksmith shops, good frame school house, and good church house, one hotel and is one of the liveliest business places in the county.
Politically the county is republican.
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