Landmarks of Monroe County  


Heritage Trail of Paris

Interesting Facts about Paris

Jan 6, 1831 an act was passed by the General Assembly to create a new county and the boundaries were made. The new county was Monroe.

Josephus Fox, son of Ezra Fox, deeded to the county a part of the land upon which the town of Paris was to be built. In 1831 the site now occupied by Paris was selected as the county seat. Mrs. J.C. Fox named the new town Paris, for her home town, Paris, Kentucky. Marshall Kellet built a log hotel on the same site of the Glenn house or the Jefferson Hotel, now the Paris Savings Bank. The first cabins were built by J.C. Fox behind where Clay Mallory lives on west Monroe Street.

The old Flanders house which stood on what is now the Senior Citizen Housing project was one of the first houses built soon after 1831.

The first session of the County Court was held on February 10, 1831.

On November 19 the court appropriated $3,100.00 for a new Courthouse and $100.00 for a jail. It was completed in 1835 but was destroyed by fire in 1861. During the year 1867 a new Courthouse was built at the cost of $45,000.00.

Our present Courthouse was built in 1912 at a cost of $100,000.00 and by 1913 it was ready to use.

In 1832 there was a ferry at the Palmyra Ford. The ferry licenses were $2.00. The fees were Ė single person 10 cents, horse, mule or jack 5 cents, horse and gig 50 cents, yoke of oxen 25 cents, yoke of oxen and cart 50 cents, yoke of oxen and wagon, 62 Ĺ cents, 4 horses and wagon 75 cents, neat cattle 5 cents per head, hogs and sheep 2 cents per head.

A bridge was built shortly after 1891 across Middle Fork.

The first paper published was the Missouri Sentinel in 1840 by Lucian J. Eastin. In 1843 the name was changed to the Paris Mercury and continued until late 1941 when absorbed by the Monroe County Appeal.

The Monroe county Appeal was in Monroe City in 1865. The building burned in 1872 and B. F. Blanton bought a half interest and in 1873 moved the paper to Paris.

The first church was a log building near where the covered bridge stood.

On August 25, 1888 a Bean Bag Party was held at the home of R.C. Osbornís, now known as the Grimes house, on West Monroe.

John McGee was one of the earliest settlers and is the great grandfather of Mrs. Leo Smithey and Miss Oma McGee.

The first store was built on the site of the new National Bank.

In 1888 and 1889 the opera house was built.

The most unusual tree is a California Redwood in the yard of Mr. and Mrs. Caskie Painter. It is estimated to be 140 to 150 feet high. It was brought from California in 1832 by J.C. Fox.

As early as 1870 the city council purchased several hundred feet of garden hose for fire protection for the business district. In 1880 a fire company was organized and an engine and hose cart purchased. The well was in front of the Odd Fellows Building.

The first street lights in Paris were 12 in number and were lighted each evening and turned out every morning. Mike and Joe Allen operated the system.

The Female Seminary was built in the 1850ís on the location now occupied by Helen McKamey and Mrs. Howard Harris.

The Male Academy also was built in the 1850ís where the Russell Herronís live.

The first school district was organized on August 12, 1867.

There was a smallpox epidemic in the 1850ís, one in 1870 and another in 1899.

Paris had the third high school to be established in Missouri about 1870.

In about 1888 Paris had a population of about 2500. There were two banks, courthouse, public school, four churches, four hotels, a flour mill, woolen mill, nine grocery stores, five dry goods stores, four millinery stores, five drug stores, two jewelry stores, one clothing store, three harness shops, three shoe stores, the saddlery store and the racket store. There were two tobacco (cigar) factories, one where the colored schools stands and the other across the railroad tracks.

We also had a hoop pole factory.

In 1896 the July 4th celebration had the largest crowd ever seen in Paris with 8,000 to 10,000 people attending.

In a September 4, 1891 newspaper story there were three pearl hunters who camped near Middle Fork and found two beautiful pearls, valued at $50.00 each.

The Paris Christian Church was among the earliest establishments in the early 1830ís.

The Paris Baptist Church was organized on May 7th, 1831.

The Paris Methodist church was organized in 1832.

The Paris Presbyterian Church was organized in 1842.

The Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church was organized in 1825 and was probably the oldest in the county.

About 1818 an Englishman named Litteby built a cabin on the land now occupied by the Pleasant View Rest Home. It is believed to be the first cabin built in the area.

 Graphics courtesy of Rhiossampler