"Historical, Pictorical, and Biographical Record of Chariton County, Missouri"
1st Edition, Press-Spectator Steam Print, Salisbury, MO 1896.

Transcribed by Nalora Burns


Brunswick, the second town in Chariton County, in point of population and age, was laid out on Section 11, township 53, range 20, in 1836 by James KEYTE, the founder of Keytesville, and by whom it was named after Brunswick (Tennis) near Manchester, England, Mr. KEYTE being an Englishman. When the town was originally laid out, it was located on the bank of the Missouri river, and about five hundred yards south of the present site. Due to mad whirl-pools and insidious eddies of that treacherous stream, nothing of the old site now remains.

Some twenty years after the location of the city, the few business houses and residences left standing, were removed to the base of the bluffs, at the present site.

The first house put up was a log building and was occupied by James Keyte, for Mercantile purposes. About the same time Mr. KEYTE started a saw mill, which was the first mill of the kind ever started in the township. Soon after the town was laid out, Peter T. ABELL, and two men by the name of PERKINS and CONWELL located at Brunswick and opened general stores. About the same time John BASEY opened the first hotel. Capt. James USHER and E. B. CLEMENTS were the pioneer dram shop keepers. With perhaps two or three exceptions, the above named gentlemen transacted the business of the village until 1840. The growth of the town was very slow during the first four years of its existence, its total population being only about 125 in 1840. James KEYTE was the first postmaster of the place and continued until his death, which occurred in the Spring of 1844. In the Spring of 1840 quite a number of people located in the village and the growth of the town increased quite rapidly.

Among others who located at Brunswick during the year were Doctor M. C. SPENCER and a gentleman named THRELDKILL who engaged in the hotel business; a wagon maker named ELLIOTT; also Moses and Elhanen SHORT, who manufactured brick. Among the early and prominent physicians was Doctor Edwin PRICE, a brother of General Sterling PRICE. Doctor PRICE continued to reside at Brunswick until his death. From 1838-40 pork packing was considerable of an industry at Brunswick, and among those who engaged in the business were Peter T. ABELL, Pugh PRICE, also a brother of the General and PERKINS & GATES.

Broady BARRETT, George DUPEY and R. G. BEAZLEY were early citizens of the town and engaged in the purchase and shipping of tobacco, while Thomas E. GILLIAM and A. JOHNSON engaged in the manufacture of chewing tobacco. Joseph CATON, at present a citizen of Salisbury, was the pioneer tailor and Nathan HARRY the first saddler. Colonel Peter T. ABELL and Colonel C. W. BELL, the latter now a resident of Salisbury, were the first attorneys to practic law in the town. The late Judge John M. DAVIS was the pioneer school teacher of Brunswick, opening a five month's term, June 19, 1840, with about thirty-five students in attendance. The building was a log structure and stood south of where the Grand river now runs. Brunswick had no grist mill previous to the civil war of '61. Soon after that, however, Patrick SMITH erected a stam flouring mill and carding machine.

Brunswick's first bank was opened in 1856 and was a branch of the Merchant's Bank of St. Louis. It was controlled by a president and board of directors. Adamantine JOHNSON was president; G. W. OUTCALT, cashier and William C. APPLEGATE, clerk. During the war, in 1861, it suspended operation. The second bank was a private institution and was opened in the fall of 1865 by W. H. PLUNKETT. This institution was succeeded by the Chariton County Exchange Bank.

Perhaps Brunswick's greatest growth was experienced between the years 1840 and 1856, its population during the latter year being nearly, if not quite as large as it has ever had since. During and previous to that time the counties of Grundy, Sullivan, Livingston, Linn, Mercer, and part of Carroll were without railroad shipping facilities and consequently citizens of those counties were compelled to haul products to Brunswick and where they wwre transported to the eastern markets by steamboats. They also recieved their supplies at the Brunswick warehouse. Thus it was that Brunswick soon became quite a commercial centre for a very large and fertile territory. At that time a good ferry operated across the Missouri and considerable trade came from Saline county.


Brunswick of to-day has a population of about 2,200 moral, intelligent, refined and progressive citizens. whose unstinted hospitality has never failed to make a favorable and lasting impression upon the stranger within her gates. Situated in the western part of the county, at the junction point of the Omaha & Council Bluffs division of the main line of the Wabash railroad, it has an excellent location as a trading point. In days past the Missouri flowed immediately in front of town, but its channel changed and now flows about two miles south. Grand River now occupies the channel bed of the former mentioned stream. The Chariton Courier in speaking of this town, in a special issue, dated May 29, 1896, says: "Its immediate site is the gently sloping hills and level second bottoms that line the north bank of the Grand river about two miles above the confluence with the Missouri.

The business portion of the city is situated on the level land at the base of the above mentioned hills, while the residence part lies in their summits, from which a wonderful and beautiful view can be had of the magnificent Missouri valley with its wealth of fertile fields interspersed with luxuriant forest growths, and far in the distance the mighty river itself glitters in the sunlight like pure silver.

The city is lighted by electricity, both the arc and incandescent systems being used. It also has an excellent stand pipe system of water works which afford an ample protection against fire. Brunswick is an incorporated city of the fourth-class and is divided into three wards. The present mayor is J. E. PERKISON, while the first ward is represented in the city council by Messrs. James SMITH and Louis ZINSER; the aldermen from the second ward are Messrs. Henry STRUBE and H. FREEMAN, and those from the third ward are Messrs. S. E. EVERLY and I. X. MITCHELL.

Brunswick's especial pride is its public school building, consisting of an elegant new brick structure which was recently erected at a cost of $12,500, and together with the expenditures for the grounds make a total cost of $16,000. The school contains six grades in the primary, intermediate and grammar department, and a very complete system of high school work, all of which is under the supervision of a very competent corp of teachers, seven in number. There is also a good colored school employing three teachers, and the interests of both institutions are looked after by a board of directors composed of the following gentlemen: Messrs. L. H. HERRING, president; John KNAPPENBERGER, secretary; Captain Louis BENECKE, Joseph GROSS, John RANDOLPH, and Doctor W. T. MAGRUDER.

The benevolent and secret societies represented here are: Ancient free and Accepted Masons, Independent order of Odd Fellows, Ancien Order United Workmen, Knights of Honor, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen, Grand Army of the Republic and Knights of the Maccabees.

The church organizations are eight in number representing the Christian, Baptist, Methodist Episcopal (South), Episcopal, Presbyterian, Catholic and colored Methodist and Baptist. Thus it will be seen that there is no lack of educational or social advantages or religious influence to make Brunswick all that could be desired in these particulars.

The shipping facilities of Brunswick are excellent, it being connected by rail with all the principal markets. A large shipment of stock, grain and tobacco is made from this point annually.

The many neat and elegant residences show the thrift and prosperity of their occupants. The various business interests that go to make up the average western city are well represented here and many of the manufacturing industries would do credit to a much larger place.

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