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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.

Everett 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.

Dripping Spring.

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 waters.

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.

Christian Church.

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.

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Last updated 24 July 2000