History of Stoddard
The Formation of Stoddard County
Taken from the History of Stoddard County by Robert Forister
The Missouri General Assembly passed an act in 1829 which defined the boundaries of Stoddard County to be carved out of Wayne County, which had been established in 1818. Part of Stoddard County was originally attached to Cape Girardeau County. The new county was to be named Stoddard in honor of Captain Amos Stoddard, the United States agent who received the transfer of the Louisiana Territory
The part of Stoddard County which was east of Castor River was called Pike Township and the west side was called Castor Township
Stoddard County was officially under Cape Girardeau officials until January 2, 1835. then the legislature acted to organize a county government.
The commissioners selected Bloomfield as the county seat and the first county court met in Absalon Bailey's house in the southwest part of the town on February 9,1835. Jacob Taylor, Field Bradshaw and John Eaker composed the court with Jonas Eaker as clerk. Shortly after, a small brick building was built on the public square for a courthouse and a log jail was build southeast of it. These buildings were used until 1856. Ten thousand dollars was then set aside to build a new courthouse, completed under Solomon G. Kitchens' supervision and a jail was built by Daniel Kitchen.
Castor, Pike, St. Francis and Liberty township were formed by the county court at one of its earliest meetings. Duck creek was created in 1850 and four more, Prairie, clay, Benton and Felmore were created shortly after. The county was re-divided in 1853 when it was reduced in size. A strip nine miles wide was taken off on the south and added to Dunklin County. A similar section was taken off the north and added to Cape County. In 1868, the county was re-districted again. Liberty, Richland, Duck creek, Castor, and Pike townships remained. New Lisbon was created a short time later.
The Stoddard County circuit court was organized at A.B. Baileys home by John D. Cook on March 21, 1836. A grand jury was empanelled its meeting on which Sam Lesley, Andrew Neale, Benjamin Taylor, Frederick Varner, Ephraim Snider, Jacob Crites, Wm. V. Carlock, George Slinkard, Frederick Slinkard, Peter Proffer, Levy Baker, Henry Miller, Henry Asherbranner, W.W. Hicks, Daniel Bollinger, Samuel Moore, Thomas Neale and Horatio Laurence served.
The courthouse burned during Prices raid in 1864. The new courthouse was begun in 1867 with Wm. B. Phelan appointed by the court as superintendent. Contractors George F. Miller and Sam D. Henson completed it in 1870. Thay year, eight thousand dollars was contracted for a new jail.
In 1912, Pike, Elk, Liberty, New Lisbon, Richland, Castor and Duck Creek were the 7 townships in the county.
Stoddard County Courthouse, located in Bloomfield, after the Civil War , submitted courtesy of the Stoddard County Historical Society
Remodeled courthouse, early 1890, photo courtesy of the Stoddard County Historical Society
Back of Courthouse after 1909 remodeling, photo courtesy of the Stoddard County Historical Society
If you have any questions or comments, please E-Mail Rick Young