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Perry County
Organized November 16, 1820, (effective January 1, 1821) from Ste. Genevieve County and named for Oliver H. Perry, naval hero of the War of 1812.

County Seat: Perryville


Perry County
15 W. Saint Marie St., Suite 1
Perryville, MO 63775


After Perry County organized in 1821, county officials used a two-story, log building for conducting county business. In 1825 a contract was let for the first courthouse. Funding of the $1,486.25 project came from the sale of 55 lots from property deeded to the county by Bernard Layton.

No known illustrations of the structure exist. The two-story building was either frame or a combination of frame and brick. Thomas Hayden contracted to build this courthouse and completed his work in August 1826. The site was on the northeast corner of the square.

By 1859 a growing county created a need for more space. The court appropriated $8,000 for a two-story building, competed in 1861. John R. Layton superintended construction. The building continued in use until after the turn of the century, when grand jury reports indicated the condition of the building was beyond repair.

After county residents presented a petition calling for an election in February 1903, voters approved a proposition September 1, 1903, for a $30,000 bond issue to finance a new courthouse. From several plans submitted in November, the court selected the proposal of J. W. Gaddis, Vincennes, Indiana.

Caldwell and Drake, Columbus, Indiana, contracted for construction in January 1904. Construction began in February 1904; cornerstone ceremonies were conducted June 4, 1904. Total cost on the red brick, 65-by-92-foot building was $31,819. The courthouse continues in use today.

Copyright 2002 University of Missouri. Published by University Extension, University of Missouri-Columbia.
Additional History
The present courthouse in Perry County was erected in 1859, when $8,000 was appropriated for that purpose, and John E. Layton was appointed to superintend its construction. It is still in a good state of preservation. The offices have been furnished with large fire-proof safe, and there are few counties in the State that have as complete or as conveniently arranged records.

The City of Perryville came into existence with the sale of lots from donated land around the present Courthouse square. Monies from the sale of the lots were used to build the first County Courthouse in 1825. The City of Perryville was incorporated in 1831. 

Records at Courthouse

Recorder of Deeds: Index to deeds, 1821-1891; Deed records, 1821-1886; Index to marriage records, 1830-1950; Marriage records, 1830-1916.

Clerk of the County Court: Permanent record of births, 1883-1894; Register of births and stillbirths, 1883-1887; Permanent record of deaths, 1883-1894; Register of deaths, 1883-1893.

Clerk of the Circuit Court: Index to circuit court records, (no dates); Circuit court records, 1821-1894; Naturalization records, 1893-1926.

Clerk of the Probate Court: Probate records, 1831-1916; Administratorís/executorís letters, bonds and records, 1845-1907; Inventories, appraisements and sale bills, 1855-1890; Settlement records, 1833-1892; Guardianís/curatorís records, 1826-1876; Index to will records, (no dates); Will records, 1821-1914.

Appointments are necessary to research any and all Probate Records. Please contact one of the following telephone numbers to make arrangements:

573-547-2927    573-547-5259    573-547-7378

More Links

Birth & Death Records Database

Search for Perry County on Archives' Online Catalog

Roll by Roll Listing of Microfilm

Local Records Inventory Database

Missouri Birth & Death Records Database: Search & Record Availability