Notes: Extracted from Mo-Linn Mailing Lists Archives, 1998
Here are some Linn County historical facts that you may find useful. The data was extracted from "The History of Linn County, Missouri, an Encyclopedia of Useful Information and a Compendium of Actual Facts" published by Birdsall and Dean, Kansas City, MO, 1882.
15% of the population of Linn County left for California during the Gold Rush of 1849 ("...over 120 of the bone and sinew of Linn county started for the Land of the Setting Sun...") In 1856 "...a heavy rain storm so suddenly raised the waters in the streams and branches that it is stated that every bridge in the county, but one, was swept away. They were not very valuable, but cheap wooden structures ready to float off without any extraordinary effort. The bridge policy up to 1870 seemed to have been of a penny wise but pound foolish character." BROOKFIELD: Thomas M. ROOKER was the first MD in Brookfield. Then Dr. BANNING and Dr. SHOOK "...before Brookfield was surveyed (about 1859) there were 2 boarding shanties on the south of the railroad track...here the RR men, the track layers and other boarded. Mr. Pat KERRIGAN and Mr. LANDRIGAN ran them." [NB: Brookfield was settled by the laborers, mostly Irish, who worked on the Hannibal - St. Joseph railroad.] Mr. LANDRIGAN's boarding shanty was first used by Fr. John Hogan for Catholic Services. Then the services were held in the home of Michael MCGOWAN. Immaculate Conception church was erected in 1860 at Livington and John Streets. Original members: Michael MCGOWAN, Thomas BRESHAN, Michael GANNON, William O'NEIL, Michael MCGRAIL, Patrick TOOEY, Michael WHITE, John MCCORMICK, Michael MCKENNEY, John CURTIN and James TOOEY. There was a smallpox epidemic in Brookfield in January 1863. BUCKLIN: Dr. J.F. POWERS was first MD in 1841 John LAMBERT was an early settler and a Justice of the Peace without much experience in legal matters or knowledge of his duties. The first case held confused Mr. Lambert. The attorneys, parties, spectators were all gathered for trial but court was not opened. When asked why Mr. LAMBERT replied "Well, darn it, nobody haint ordered me to!" August 1858: There was a riot at the polls between two railroad gangs: the Corkonians and the Far Downs. MURPHY's was the former, TOOEY and MULHOLLAND the latter. The participants got drunk, Pat TOOEY had his skull fractured by the CORKONIANS. The next day TOOEY's men set fire to the Corkonians camp. One house had kegs of blasting powder so there was a spectacular explosion. The first buildings in Bucklin were railroad shanties. The first store was owned by Noah CATON. The first female child born was Sarah AUSTIN daughter of Russell and Oscia AUSTIN. ST. CATHERINE is one of the oldest towns in Linn County. It was named April 28, 1856 after Catherine ELLIOTT. The "Saint" prefix was initially added as a joke.