Settlement of Farmington and County



(Circa 1874)

In the south-eastern portion of the State, is bounded on the north by Jefferson and Ste. Genevieve Counties, east by Jefferson, Ste. Genevieve and Perry, south by Perry, Madison and Iron, and west by Iron and Washington Counties, and contains 280,091 acres.

POPULATION in 1830, 2,366; in 1840, 3,211; in 1850, 5,313; in 1860, 7,249; in 1870, 9,742, of whom 9,224 were white and 518 colored; 5,199 male and 4,543 female; 8,453 native (6,127 born in Missouri) and 1,289 foreign.

HISTORY.---The first settlement made in St. Francois County was on Big River, near the place now known as Big River Mills, by John Alley, Andrew Baker, Francis Starnater, John Andrews and their families; also three or four young men. They each located claims in 1794, but did not bring their families until 1796. Andrew Baker was the only one who had a house; the rest lived in camps.

A memorable circumstance occurred about the 1st of March, 1797. Henry Fry and Rebecca Baker having concluded to be married, started, in company with Catharine Miller, Mary and Abraham Baker (two sisters and the brother of the intended bride,) and Wm. Patterson, for Ste. Genevieve, the nearest point where any one authorized to perform the service could be found. When they were 8 or 10 miles from home near the crossing of the Terre Bleu, they were met by the Indians and all, save Rebecca and Abraham Baker, were stripped of their clothing and left to find their way home in this plight; the wagon loaded with venison, intended for the wedding feast, was also robbed. This unfortunate adventure caused the postponement of the marriage for one year.

Rev. Wm. Murphy, a Baptist minister, a native of Ireland and a resident of East Tennessee, procured a land grant, and he and his son Wm. Murphy, and Silas George, in 1798 located claims just south of the present site of Farmington. Soon after they started homeward for their families, but Rev. Wm. Murphy and Silas George died on the journey. In the year 1801 David Murphy, a son of Rev. Wm. Murphy, cut the first tree that was felled in what was long known as Murphy Settlement. The next year Joseph, William and Richard, brothers of David Murphy, arrived and began permanent settlements on grants made by the Spanish Government.

About the year 1800, Nathaniel Cook located a claim in what is still known as Cook's Settlement, in the south-eastern part of the county, now one of the most intelligent and wealthy portions of St. Francois. Soon after in the same vicinity James Caldwell, Wm. Holmes, Jesse Blackwell, Elliott Jackson and James Davis located claims and made improvements. In 1803 Sarah Murphy, the widow of Rev. Wm. Murphy, determined to settle on the claim located by her husband in 1798, and in company with her sons, Isaac and Jesse, and a grand-son, Wm. Evans, a hired hand, a negro woman and an infant child, left her home in East Tennessee, and after a journey full of hardship and peril, on the 10th of January arrived at the house of her son Richard. About the same year Michael Hart and his son Charles settled in the same vicinity. Three years after Mrs. Sarah Murphy settled in the county, she organized a Sunday-school near the present site of Farmington, and conducted it successfully for many years. From 1805 to 1810 settlements were made on Doe Run Creek, Flat River and at various points on the St. Francis River by Squire Eleazer Clay, John Robinson, Isaac and John Burnham, Lemuel Halstead, Samuel Rhodes, Solomon Jones and Mark Dent, many of whose descendants still reside in the county.

Dec. 19th, 1821, the county was organized from parts of Ste. Genevieve, Washington and Jefferson. James Austin, Geo. McGahan and James W. Smith were appointed by the Governor as a county court, and their first meeting, Feb. 25th, 1822, was at the house of Jesse Murphy, when they appointed John D. Peers county clerk. The first circuit court was held at the same place, April 1st, 1822, Hon. N. B. Tucker judge, and John D. Peers clerk. Henry Poston, John Andrews, Wm. Alexander and James Holbert were appointed commissioners to locate the county seat, and D. Murphy, Sept 22d, 1822, donated 53 acres of land for that purpose which the county court accepted Feb. 27th, 1823. In 1824 a stray-pen and a log jail, made double, and a brick court-house were built. At various times churches and school-houses were built in convenient localities; new settlers joined the pioneers, and peace and prosperity reigned. [Note:  The following are some of the early citizens elected to represent St. Francois County in the Missouri House of Representatives:   Henry Poston (1826); David Murphy (1828); Corbin Alexander (1830, 1832).

About 1845, the manufacture of pig-iron was begun at Iron Mountain and Pilot Knob, and the hauling of the iron to Ste. Genevieve, the nearest landing on the Mississippi, gave remunerative employment to a great number of teams, and the colliers, smelters and others furnished a home market for the surplus farm products. In 1851, the old log jail was set on fire by an inmate, who came near perishing in the flames. It was soon replaced by a substantial stone building. In 1850, the old court-house was removed, and a larger and more commodious one erected in its stead.

In 1851-2, a plank road was built from Iron Mountain to Ste. Genevieve via Farmington, which gave a new impetus to trade. In 1854, Prewitt and Patterson erected some bloom furnaces 3 miles east of Farmington, on the plank road, where it crossed Wolf Creek, which gave employment to a great number of men and teams. The ore was hauled from Iron Mountain, and the iron to Ste. Genevieve for shipment. In 1858, this furnace, known as Valley Forge, became the property of Chouteau, Harrison and Valle', Charles A. Pilley, superintendent, and was profitably worked until 1863, when the machinery was removed and the buildings and lands sold.

At the beginning of the late Civil War, this county, like most others in the State, was divided politically, and many took refuge from the enrollment act in the ranks under M. Jeff. Thompson, whose force at one time destroyed the Iron Mountain bridge over Big River. It was in this county that the noted guerrilla, Sam Hilderbrand, began his operations, and he and other unprincipled men took advantage of the times to settle feuds existing before the war, killing and plundering peaceable citizens. Among the number inhumanly murdered were such men as Judge Charles Burkes, Joseph Herod and Thos. Haile, Sr.

PHYSICAL FEATURES.---The general surface of the country is hilly or undulating, but the extreme south and north-eastern corners are table lands excellently adapted to fruit-culture and grazing purposes. The country about Farmington, and for several miles on either side of the St. Francis River, is excellent land, well timbered and sufficiently undulating to render drainage unnecessary. It is well supplied with water from never-failing springs, and drained by Blackwell and Rock Creeks, St. Francis River, Wolf and Back Creeks. Stono Mountain, embraced in this section, is said to afford excellent sheep pasturage.

The south-western portion of the county, drained by Indian Creek, is exceedingly hilly. The central and northern section is drained by Big River and its tributaries, Flat River, Davis Creek, Big Branch, Terre Bleu and Three Rivers. The valleys of these streams are excellently adapted to agricultural purposes, the cereals all doing well, while the neighboring mines furnish a ready market for farm products. On several of the steams mentioned, there are good mills, and many more excellent sites having sufficient water power to run a mill the entire year.

The uplands are well timbered, yielding from 40 to 100 cords of wood to the acre. The timber consists of white, red and black oak, ash, cherry, walnut, hickory, maple, gum, papaw and dogwood, with beach, sycamore and butternut on the bottoms. Cedar and pine are found in a few localities on the uplands. The soil is generally a black loam. In the vicinity of Farmington, after passing through the first or top soil, there is a rich red-clay subsoil. If these lands have a specialty, it is for grass; all kinds of grass grow luxuriantly, producing from 2 to 2 1/12 tons per acre, which readily markets at from $12 to $20 per ton. Blue grass, it is said by farmers from the blue grass region of Kentucky, does nearly as well here as there, and as an evidence, it is found growing spontaneously in the woods, lawns, old fields and meadows.

THE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIONS are corn, wheat, oats, fruits, etc. The soil and climate are well adapted to orchards and vineyards, and if properly used for these purposes, the now vacant so-called "flint ridges" may prove more valuable and return a greater profit upon the money and labor expended than the best farms in the county.

MINERAL RESOURCES.---This county contains iron, lead and granite in large quantities, considerable zinc and nickel, with traces of copper and cobalt. The largest part of that celebrated formation known as Iron Mountain is within its limits, near the town to which it has given its name. This mountain, one of the largest and richest iron deposits in the world, is 228 feet in height, and covers an area of 500 acres, which gives, according to Dr. A. Litton, 1,655,280,000 cubic feet, or 230,187,375 tons of iron ore. Dr. Adolph Schmidt, in the State Geological Report of 1872, gives the following more detailed description of this formation:

"The whole surface of Iron Mountain itself is covered with surface ore, which also extends over the south-western knob called Little Iron Mountain, and reaches into the valley south and west, and across the valley north-west of the mountain, over a part of the slope of the opposite hill. This surface ore * * * * occurs in more or less rounded boulders and pieces of very variable sizes, from a diameter of several feet, down to a pretty fine sand, all irregularly mixed with each other, as well as with a fine clayish or sandy detritus of a yellow or red color and with single boulders of half decomposed porphyry. * * * * The surface ore generally lies directly under a few inches of soil, and varies from one to five feet in thickness, which is, however, considerably exceeded in some places where it attains a thickness of 40 feet and over. * * * * The whole immense clayish mass of decomposed porphyry or 'bluff' forming certainly the upper part, if not the whole of the Iron Mountain, is cut in two nearly equal parts by an enormous vein of specular ore, from 40 to 60 feet thick striking n. 53 e. Whether the main portion of this vein is in a vertical or somewhat inclined position, cannot now be ascertained. * * * * This large and principal vein is called the back-bone of the Iron Mountain. The 'bluff' contains, however, besides the back-bone vein, numerous other veins of various and very irregular thicknesses, from less than 1/2 inch up to 6 and in places 10 feet. These smaller veins cross the 'bluff' in various directions not subject to any definite rule."

The mountain yields on an average 100 car loads of ore of 10 tons each or 1,000 tons daily. This ore is shipped to St. Louis by rail, and a portion of it sold there, but by far the greater part is reshipped and sent by barge to Pittsburg and other points on the Ohio River. To mine and ship this enormous quantity of ore gives employment to a force of from 1,000 to 1,200 laborers at the mountain.

The principal lead mines of the county are as follows: Mine a' Gerboree, conceded to Pierre de Luzierre, April, 1795, now worked for surface mineral. Shaw Mines are on an old Spanish land grant to Sebastian Butcher. At a depth of 234 feet fine disseminated lead of a very rich quality is found in one place 12 feet thick. About six miles north of DeLassus, are diggings which have been worked extensively for 50 years, and rich deposits have recently been discovered in them. Just north of Hazel Run post-office, is the Isaac Jackson grant, upon which lead was mined from 1810 to 1820, at which time this was one of the busiest parts of the county, but since then, on account of litigation, all work here has been stopped.

The celebrated shaft, Valle' Mines, near the Jefferson County line, which has yielded about 3,000,000 lbs. of lead annually for about 33 years, is now yielding large quantities of zinc besides lead, was discovered in 1824 or 1825, about 10 years after Valle''s first discovery, one mile further north. About 1835, John Perry, on the same section, discovered and worked for many years what is now known as Perry's Mines which yielded more than the Valle' mines, and are now under the control of the Valle' Mining Co. About the same time Chadburn Mines (formerly Bisch) were discovered near the Perry Mines, and have been successfully worked ever since. St. Joe Mines are 3 miles north-west of Big River Mills, and 10 miles south-east of Cadet. The works here are among the best in the State, and consist of 1 refining and 4 reverberatory furnaces, which annually smelt over 1,500,000 lbs. of lead. Doggett Mines (formerly Mine a' la' Platte) are in the northern part of the county, and were conceded to De Lassus in Oct. 1799, in a grant containing 2,500 arpents. Bogy Mines, 7 miles north-west of Farmington, conceded as "Mine a' Joe," to R. Easton and J. Bruff, July 17th, 1790, are now operated by a company of which Hon. Lewis V. Bogy is president. Ore is found at a depth of about 212 feet. Lead has been found in every township in the county. In the south-western part of the county is quarry of red and gray granite that is of very superior quality. Some of the gray has stood a test pressure of 18,444 lbs. to the square inch.

MANUFACTURING INTERESTS.--Besides the furnaces mentioned above, there is the usual complement of saw and grist-mills, wagon shops, etc.

WEALTH.--Valuation of the county per census of 1870, $12,550,000. (Assessed valuation in 1873, $2,428,908. Taxation, $1.00 per $100. The county is out of debt).

RAILROADS.--The St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern R.R. and the Belmont Division of the same road, form a junction at Bismarck, the former having 9 1/2 and the latter 28 1/2 miles of track in the county.

THE EXPORTS are iron, lead, granite and lumber.

THE EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS are receiving increased attention, and public schools are being established generally thoughout the county.

BIG RIVER MILLS, noted as being the first place settled in the county, situated 16 miles s.e. of Cadet, and 2 1/2 miles from the St. Joe Mines, has 1 grist-mill and 3 stores.

BISMARCK, at the junction of the St. L. & I.M.R.W. with the Belmont Division, 75 miles from St. Louis and 6 miles n. of Iron Mountain, was laid out in 1868, and contains 2 hotels, 3 stores, a wagon shop, round-house and school-house. Population, about 250.

BLACKWELL STATION, in the extreme northern part of the county, situated on the west bank of Big River and on the St. L., I.M. & S.R.W., 51 miles from St. Louis, has 1 store and 1 hotel, and is surrounded by fine farming lands.

BONTEAR, a post-office 11 miles s.e. of Cadet.

DeLASSUS, 87 miles from St. Louis on the St. L, I.M. & S.R.W. and 2 1/2 miles w. from Farmington, was laid out in 1868 and has 1 large hotel, 2 stores and a good school-house. Population, about 50.

DENT'S STATION, on the St. L., I.M. & S.R.R., 2 miles south of Bismarck, has 1 store and 1 mill.

FARMINGTON, the county seat, 2 1/2 miles e. of DeLassus, 5 miles from Mine La Motte, one of the finest lead mines in the State, and 6 miles from Saline Valley Mines in Ste. Genevieve County, is in the center of a very fine and productive valley that here finds a market at prices equal to those in St. Louis. It was laid out Nov. 4th, 1856, and contains about 700 inhabitants. It has 5 churches--Presbyterian, Catholic, M.E. Church, M.E. Ch. South and M.E. Ch. colored, 2 public schools, one of which is for colored children, 3 hotels, 20 stores, 1 cabinet, 4 wagon, 1 gunsmith and 2 saddle and harness shops, 2 livery stables, 1 brewery, 1 steam saw-mill, 1 steam merchant flouring-mill, a carding machine, 2 newspapers--The Era, published by Wash Hughes, and The Times, published by Ware & Rodehaver. One-half mile west of the town are located the St. Francois County Agricultural and Mechanical Fair Grounds, consisting of 20 acres of well improved and carefully arranged grounds worth $1,000.

FLAT RIVER, 5 miles n.e. of Bismarck and in the vicinity of Bogy, Shaw & Taylor Mines, contains 1 store.

FRENCH VILLAGE, 17 miles e. of Cadet on Goose Creek, was laid out by the French in 1825, and has 2 stores, 1 school-house and 1 church--Catholic.

HAZEL RUN, 11 miles e.s.e. of Cadet at the junction of Hazel Run with Terre Bleu, has 1 store and 1 mill.

IRON MOUNTAIN, 6 miles south of Bismarck and 81 south of St. Louis, on the St. L., I.M. & S.R.W., at the foot of the mountain of this name, (described under physical features) contains 2 large furnaces, 1 flouring-mill, 1 store, (belonging to the company) 1 carpenter's shop and 3 churches--Catholic, Lutheran and M.E. Church, 3 schools--1 public and 2 private, with a daily attendance of 210 pupils. A very commodious first-class hotel has been erected here by the company, and adds much to the appearance of the town. The buildings are generally neat frames erected by the company. Population about 2,500.

KNOB LICK derives its name from a Buffalo Lick at the foot of a mountain 1 mile from the town. It is on the St. L., I.M. & S.R.R., 19 miles s.e. of Bismarck, was laid out in 1868, contains 1 store and is a shipping point for granite.

LIBERTYVILLE, 5 miles n.e. of Knob Lick, is surrounded by some of the finest farms in the county. It contains 1 brick church, 1 brick school-house, 3 stores, 2 wagon shops and 1 steam merchant flouring-mill.

LOUGHBORO, on the St. L., I.M. & S.R.R., 7 miles e. of Bismarck, has 1 steam grist-mill and 1 store, and is surrounded by excellent creek bottom farms.

MIDDLE BROOK, on the Iron County Line and on the Arkansas Branch of the St. L., I.M. & S.R.R., 84 miles from St. Louis, has a population of about 200. It is near the famous granite quarry for which it is the usual shipping point.

STONO, a post-office 6 miles s.w. of DeLassus.

WOLF CREEK is on the St. L., I.M. & S.R.R., 15 miles s.e. of Bismarck.

CAMPBELL'S GAZETTEER OF MISSOURI. Robert A. Campbell. St. Louis, MO: 1874. pp. 495-501.


(Editor's note: The following information was taken from the July, 30, 1954 edition of The Farmington News during the celebration of Farmington's Sesqui-Centennial. The articles were orginally printed in The St. Francois County Democrat in 1886. The authors identify is uncertain, but believed to be Samuel S. Boyce, a long time Farmington resident who died in 1886. Subsequent issues of The Farmington News in 1935 quoting from the book "brief Authentic History of ST. Francois County" by J. Tom Miles is also credited)

The first settlement in St. Francois County was made in the spring of 1796 at what is now known as Big River Mills, by Andrew Baker, John Ally, Francis Starnater and John Andrews. Baker, who built a large home along the north bank of Big River, established a community there. At one time he reportedly owned two hundred slaves and was one of the wealthiest men in the area. Eventually all his children married and left the farm which consisted of 740 acres. The farm was sold for taxes and later sold for $30 per acre. Several families settled that same year on Big River, among them, were Elisha Baker, his son Elijah and Joseph Reed from Bois Brule Bottom. In 1798 Solomon George became the first to settle on Little St. Francois River.

In that same year there came other immigrants to this new country. Among these was the Rev. William Murphy, a native of Ireland and a pioneer Baptist minister from Holston River area in East Tennessee. He and his three sons: Joseph, William and David, with a friend, Silas George, arrived by boat that fall in Ste. Genevieve. None in that community could speak English, so a Mr. Madden, living three miles distant was sent for. He invited them to his home, and the following day sent an Indian with them to show where good claims could be secured. David Murphy located his claim in the north side of the selected site, where Washington School now stands. The Rev. Murphy selected as his claim an area to the south that was later known as Carter Spring, now McIlvane Street, and Joseph Murphy located on a plot to the northwest, later known as the Swink farm situated on old Highway 67. After securing their claims, these men returned to Tennessee for their families. But sickness overtook them, and both the Rev. Mr. Murphy and Silas George died before reaching home.

Early in the spring of 1800, William, Joseph and David Murphy returned to Missouri with their families. They were accompanied by a younger brother, Richard who came to establish a home for their widowed mother, Sarah Barton Murphy. Soon Mrs. Murphy and three other sons, Isaac, Jesse and Dubart; her only daughter, Sarah, a grandson William Evans; a hired hand and colored woman and boy followed. The journey was made by flat boat; down the Holston River into Ohio; thence to the Mississippi River and up to Ste. Genevieve, a distance of more than a thousand miles. Many places infested with hostile Indians, they managed to pass in the night; while keeping concealed along the banks during the day. When the party arrived at Ste. Genevieve the inhabitants gave them a rousing welcome.

At the time of this settlement the area was under Spanish rule. On October 7, 1800, Spain ceded the whole of upper and lower Louisiana to France. It was not until our own Louisiana purchase on April 30, 1803 that this area became a part of the United States. Settlers came in large numbers after the Murphy Settlement was established, and at the close of 1803 it had grown to a sizable community. Most of the settlers had enjoyed freedom of worship in their previous homes but found here they were restricted in worshipping God according to their Protestant tradition. Mrs. Murphy frequently invited friends to her home where secret prayer meetings were held while sentinels kept guard to warn of approaching danger. The religious restriction imposed by the Spanish officials gave way when the United States came into full possession. When the settlement learned that control of the land had passed to the United States, Mrs. Murphy was given the honor of the first Protestant prayer in public west of the Mississippi.

There was never a lack of law and order in the Murphy settlement. Differences among people were generally referred to Sarah Barton Murphy and her decisions were accepted as final. There soon came an intinerant Methodist minister to the community who preached at Mrs. Murphy's home. Although most of the settlers were then Baptists, it was decided to organize a Church at once. Mrs. Murphy donated one acre of ground, in what is now the Masonic Cemetery, for the erection of that church. The first Protestant house of worship in Farmington was a log structure about 22 by 30 feet.

In 1805 Sarah Murphy organized and taught what is believed to have been the first Sunday School west of the Mississippi River. This great lady who exerted strong social, moral and religious influence over the entire community, died in 1817. A monument now stands to her memory on the site where that first church was erected.

The daily arrival of new immigrants continued the growth of the community. Families, whose names are still prevalent today, moved in and were instrumental in developing not only the area but the entire state of Missouri. Nathaniel Cook, one of Missouri's earliest and most prominent lawmakers, located his claim in the southeastern part of the county in 1800. Following soon thereafter were such notables as: John Caldwell, William Holmes, Jesse [Jeremiah?] Blackwell, Elliott Jackson and James Davis. From 1805 to 1810 settlements developed along such streams as: St. Francois River, Doe Run Creek, and Flat River which are familiar to us today; by such personages as Squire Eleazer Clay, John Robinson, Isaac and John Burnham, Lemuel Halsted, Samuel Rhoades, Solomon Jones and Mark Dent.

The constant influx of settlers to the area brought about a demand for a permanent seat of government. Appointed as commissioners to locate the county seat were Henry Poston, William Alexander and James Holbert. A generous donor was found in the persons of David Murphy and His wife Rachel, who by deed dated September 2, 1822".....gave as a donation to the County of St. Francois, upon which to fix the county seat, fifty two acres of land........."

The new county was made from parts of three counties already established, Ste. Genevieve, Jefferson and Washington, and comprised of 410 square miles. An article written by Sallie Burks Keith furnishes this interesting insight as to the method by which boundaries of the new county were established: "Mr. Carol Williams and three other men met at a point (supposedly the present Court House Square) and were to ride until six by the clock. ; one north, one south, one east and the other west. Where each stopped was to be the boundary line. Thus the irregular line."

At that time the first Governor of Missouri. Alexander McNair, appointed James Austin, Presiding Judge, George McGahan and James W Smith as judges for the first County Court. They held their first meeting on February 25, 1822, in the home of Jesse Murphy, on a site now believe to be the home of John F Whitworth on McIlvane Street.
[Note: The above article was kindly contributed to the St. Francois County MoGenWeb page by Judy Oldziewski.]


Commonly accepted history sometimes strays far from the truth, as shown by investigations made by Henry C. Thompson, of Bonne Terre, a local member of the Institute of American Genealogy.

One of the myths is that Senator David Barton was a brother of Sarah Barton Murphy, early settler at Murphy's Settlement, one and one-half miles from the present site of Farmington. Mrs. Murphy was the daughter of Josiah Barton of Oxford, Mass. She married the Rev. William Murphy in 1768. The story of her later life and experiences is well known and a matter of local knowledge. Senator David Barton was born Dec. 14, 1783 in Greene County, N.C. and was the son of Rev. Isaac Barton, a Baptist minister. Sarah Barton did have a brother by the name of David, but he was born 39 years before Senator Barton, or in 1744. The misunderstanding arises from the fact that the children in both families were blessed with Biblical names which was often the case with early families. These names were David, Josiah, Isaac, Joshua, etc. If Sarah Barton was any relation to the Senator she was his aunt and not his sister.

Another commonly accepted belief is that Farmington is older than any other city in St. Francois county. In 1798 the Rev. Wm. Murphy, together with his son William and a friend named Cyrus George landed in Ste. Genevieve and sought permission from the Spanish authorities to settle in the country. Permission being granted they settled on farms southeast of the present site of Farmington. The Rev. William Murphy returned to Tennessee to get his family and while there took sick and died. It was not until 1801 that any of the family returned and started to clear land and open farms. Sarah Barton Murphy came to Missouri in 1803.

Antidating these hardy pioneers by three years were John Ally, John and Abram Baker, John Andrews and others who had staked out their claims in 1794 but who did not form a permanent settlement until 1796 on Big River near what was afterwards known as Big River Mills, two miles from the present site of Bonne Terre. It is true that the town was moved closer to the lead mines in 1863 or '64, but so was Farmington moved, as was Ste. Genevieve, Fredericktown and other towns of the early days to get away from the lowlands and on higher and better ground. Therefore if we allow for the removal and change of names in one town we must do so for all. Murphy's Settlement was changed to Farmington and moved more than a mile to the northeast. Big River Mills was moved about three miles (as was Ste. Genevieve) and renamed first St. Joe Lead Mines and later Bonne Terre.

Flat River can claim early settlement from the fact the early land books show that Samuel Pierceall lived on Flat River in 1803. His claim is dated then but he probably lived there some time before filing his claim.

The first white man to settle in the interior anywhere away from the Mississippi was John Hildebrand, born in 1733 and who came to Missouri in 1770 and settled on the Meramec River in Jefferson county in 1774. He was the great-great-grandfather of the notorious Sam.

Published by THE LEAD BELT NEWS, Flat River, St. Francois Co. MO, Fri. Dec. 1, 1933.


According to the "Official Manual of the State of Missouri 1909-1910",
the following were  the Nominees for Representative from St. Francois County:
John GRIFFARD, Flat River 
Hartwell B. LEDBETTER, Farmington

Member of the Board of Agriculture for the 1909/1910 fiscal year
(according to Mo. Blue Book): E. E. SWINK