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
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
Tax List - 1840
& Brands 1837-1855
of the 1875 Atlas
- Bevier, Callao, Chariton, Drake, Eagle, Easley,
& Independence Twps
-Jackson, Johnson, LaPlata, Liberty, Lingo, Lyda & City
- Middle Fork, Morrow, Narrows, & Richland Twps
-Round Grove, Russell, Ten Mile, Valley, Walnut Creek, &
- R] [S
of Macon County