Boone County Missouri - Perche Township Villages
The following is quoted directly from The History of Boone County
Missouri by W.F. Switzler originally published in 1882, pages 1072-1077.
Perche Township Villages
Perchetown / Persia
Perchetown, or "the town of Persia" as it is spelled in the record
of deeds in the clerk's office, gave promise at one time of becoming a
place of considerable importance. The town was laid off and a very
comprehensive map made and entered into the record of deeds, April
2, 1821, but the entering is made in the name of the corportation,
without mention of the individuals composing the corportation. The
record shows the John Lefler sold to the corportation of the town of
"Persia," nine and one-ninth acres of land in section eight, township
forty-nine and range thirteen, for which he received ninety-one dollars
and fifty cents. Of same date, Obadiah Babbitt sold to same parties,
fifty-eight acres, both tracts being withing the limits of the town, as
shown by the map which is entered of record. It was on both sides
of the Perche, situated at the point where the old Boone's Lick road,
connecting St. Charles and Old Franklin, in Howard county,
crossed that stream. Babbitt and Ludlow threw a dam across the
stream and erected a saw mill. Several shops were built, among
others, a cabinet shop, by Lemuel Batterton, and a store of general
merchandise was opened for the accommodation of the local trade.
Perchetown was much talked of and much visited by the rural population.
Whiskey was cheap and plentiful, and the village became
famous for its fights, horse-races, shooting matches, indeed, for many
things, except that substantial growth which its founders had vainly
hoped to realize. About the year 1825, Wilfred Stephens, of Kentucky,
the father of Benjamin Stephens, of this county, came to Perchetown
and opened a store. George Sexton had also settled in the
near vicinity of the place. He had the contract for several thousand
miles of mail routes. Upon the main lines he ran stages and hacks,
and the amount of rolling stock necessary to carry on his business
was immense. He built carriage and repair shops, harness shops,
stables, sheds and granaries, giving a wonderful impetus to this primitive
town and the surrounding country, but with the expiration of the
mail contract and thr removal of the Sextons, and the washing away of
the mill, commenced the decay of Perchetown, and now not a vestige
of the pretentious village remains. Strange as it may seem, the
neighborhood of this town contained a third more people a half
century ago than it does today.
Harrisburg, situated on the northwest quarter of section 11, township
50, range 14, in the northwest corner of the township, was named
in honor of John W. Harris, deceased, late proprietor of the Model
Farm. It was laid off soon after the survey of the Chicago and Alton
railroad, and gave promise of soon becoming a town of considerable
importance. Work was actively going on all along the line of the
proposed railroad, which was actually graded and made ready for the
rails. The town prospered in anticipation of the early completion of
the road; but, to the surprise and disappointment of the people of
Harrisburg and Perche township, the road was suddenly abandoned
but afterwards completed on a line farther north. This proved almost
a death-blow to the ambitious hopes of Harrisburg. With better facilities
this village would have been a place of no little importance. It
is beautifully located on the divide between the Perche and the Moniteau,
six miles north of the Model Farm, on the main road leading
from Rocheport to Sturgeon. The Callaham, which flows into the
Perche, heads in this vicinity. Prairie Fork, named from Thrall's
prairie, also heads in this vicinity, and flows west into the Moniteau.
Harrisburg contains three stores, a confectionery shop, church,
mill, blacksmith and repair shop, a fine public school building, with
Masonic hall above. Dr. Haller, a practicing physician, Hersman, a
justice of the peace, and S. O. Puller, constable, reside in the village.
The post-office is in Gentry's saddler-shop. Rev. Green Carey, of
near Harrisburg, came to the neighborhood in 1834, and has preached
for the people since 1836. He was a member of the first church
organized in this portion of the county, Bethlehem by name, which he
served for thirty-one years. He has joined in marriage more than five
hundred couples. Revs. Thomas Fristoe, Fielding Wilhite and Green
Carey dedicated the last Bethlehem church building.
This little hamlet, now almost extinct, is situated on section 2, township
49, range 14. It was laid out in the year 1860 by Charles Sexton, a
son of George Sexton, already mentioned in connection with Perchetown.
Charles Sexton was to Everett what his father had previously
been to Perchetown -- the leading spirit in the enterprise -- and but for the
war he would have given such an impetus to the place as would probably
have secured its future growth and prosperity. In partnership with
McKinney and others, he established an extensive plow factory,
manufacturing the "Peeler plows." Parks started in a large tobacco factory,
and Dr. Dynes opened a store. There was also a planing machine
for dressing lumber. The Methodist denomination erected a nice
church edifice, and, in addition to improvements already mentioned,
there were over a dozen private residences. Dr. John W. Roberts was
the resident physician; Dr. J. M. Shock lived near by. The surrounding
country was very rich and productive, and the little town sprung
in to existence with the brighest hopes of future prosperity. It now
contains a mill and carding machine, owned by Wilson Nicholson; a
blacksmith shop, public school building, and church.
This church is situated on a lot containing five acres, the property
of the Methodist denomination, having been deeded to them for church
purposes. The church was organized September 2, 1859. The church
edifice, a frame building, was erected in 1860, at a cost of $1,500. It
was dedicated by Dr. McAnally, of St. Louis, May 12, 1860. Since
its dedication the church has been served by R. H. Jordan, J. S. Smith,
Tyson Dynes, T. J. Starr, D. R. Shackleford, B. F. Johnson, James
Pritchett, William Rush, T. Ellington, R. White and W. Penn. The
present membership is sixty-five. When this church was first organized,
meetings were held at the residence of J. A. Points. The first
quarterly meeting was held at his house, December 11, 1852, E. M.
Marvin, presiding elder, Walter Toole, circuit rider. The official
members were John W. Denny, J. A. Points, Matthew Richards, John W.
Walton, Thomas Wright and John Reed.
The hamlet and post-office known as Dripping Spring is on the
southwest quarter of section 27, township 50, range 13, and is situated
about twelve miles northwest of Columbia. It derives its name from
a spring near by that drips from the rocks into a large branch which
empties into Silver's Fork of Perche creek, about fifty rods from the
spring. There are several mineral springs in the neighborhood, said
to possess medicinal virtues. It is alleged that some cases of
rheumatism and kindred diseases have been cured by the free use of these
The place contains a store and post-office. The latter was established
June 13, 1873, and Col. Garnett Duncan commissioned postmaster.
He died in January, 1880, and February 13th following Dr.
John H. Stover was appointed, and still holds the position. Mail [arrives]
semi-weekly from Columbia. There is also near by a handsome
church building, with cemetery grounds adjoining, the site being on a
rolling elevation, neatly enclosed and ornamented with evergreens,
flowers and shade trees. The church is controlled by the Christians.
There are two flourishing public schools in the vicinity, with good
frame houses, well furnished. It is stated that in these schools, with
some assistance from the University, there have been fitted for the
ministry four young men, and for the medical profession six others.
Two of the latter returned to the neighborhood after receiving their
diplomas and engaged in the practice. One has since died; the other
is still actively and successfully engaged.
The Methodist Church South has an organization of some sixty
members, but as yet no church building. They worship at an arbor
at a point called Red Rock, two miles northwest of Dripping Spring.
In the winter they meet at Prowell's school-house near by. They
have considerable money and material subscribed for building a church
and the day is probably not far distant when they will be able to
worship under their own vine and fig tree.
The Dripping Spring Christian church is situated on section 34,
township 50, range 13. It was organized in 1858, by Elder John O.
White. Some of the original members were John O. White, Jemima
White, James and Paulina Hoffman, Wm. and Mahala Evans, James
and Susan Kelly, Thomas, Paulina, Mary J., and A. C. Robinson,
Sarah A. Corlew, Miriam Brink, Polly March, Isaac Oliver, Amanda
Akeman, Caleb Davis, R. J. and Elizabeth Wade and about thirty
others. The first church building, a frame, was built in 1860. The
building committee was Wm. Evans, David Prowell, Sr., and Samuel
Copher. It was remodeled in 1881. The total cost of the building
was about $1,200. It was dedicated June 26, 1860, by Elder John
O. White. The pastors of this church have been Elder White, Stephen
A. Bush, ---- Hockensmith, J. T. Burnham, the latter the
present pastor. Elders Bedford, Chrisman, Cake and Hoffman have
labored in the chruch at different times and to them, in part, belongs
the honor of the upbuilding of the church to its present proportions.
The number of members on the roll is about 150.
About three miles northwest of Dripping Spring is a country
village called Ammon. A steam saw-mill was the principal impetus to
the growth of this hamlet, which contains some twelve or fifteen
houses. A vast amount of lumber was manufactured at these mills and shipped
to all parts of the country. Since the removal of the mill, a few
years ago, the place has ceased to be a point of interest and importance
to the community in which it is situated.
Old Germantown, situated in section 5, township 49, range 13, was
laid off in 1858, by Schultz & Fretter, two enterprising Germans.
They erected a large, substantial store building which they filled from
cellar to garret with all kinds of merchandise. In addition to the
store they erected a large two-story warehouse. The bought all
kinds of produce in exchange for goods and soon established a flourishing
trade. "Boss" Forche kept a saloon and lunch house. There
were some six or eight buildings in all, including a shoe shop. The
town was burned during the war and was never rebuilt.
Woodlandville is situated in section 5, township 49, range 13, being
the southwest portion of Perche township. It is in that region of
country known as the Thrall's prairie district. There is but one
store and a blacksmith shop. The post-office is kept at a store. A
great deal of business is transacted by W. B. Campbell, proprietor of
the store, who keeps a general assortment of dry goods, groceries
and notions, and exchanges goods for produce.
Return to main Boone County USGenWeb page
This page is © Copyrighted 2000-2003 by BoCoMo a portion of The USGenWeb Project.
Last updated 24 July 2000