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Buchanan County MOGenWeb Project

County coordinator and webmaster: Sharlene K. Miller, CG

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A Brief History Of The Area

Picture of the Pony Express created by John Falter appears in Sheridan A. Logan's book "Old St Joe".
This print is owned by the John Sublette Logan Foundation
Thanks to Arnie Dodge for getting written permission to use the picture on our site.

Although the entire area of present-day Missouri was included in the Louisiana Purchase, the western border of Missouri was set on the North-South line passing through the Arkansas western corner. This left an area west of this line and east of the Missouri River that was ceded to the indian tribes by the Prarie du Chien treaty. Subsequently, however, it became apparent that this was a mistake. This area was ripe for settlement and nothing could stop the displacement of the indians by the whites. Consequently the area became the subject of the 1836 Platte Purchase. Thus it was that in 1837, the Pottawatomie tribe, the Sac and Fox band, and the Ioway tribe, were located westward of Missouri and the land was opened for settlement.

On January 8, 1840, Matthew Hughes, appointed to the task by Governor Boggs, reported on his survey of Buchanan county. The western border ran northward from the corner of Platte County 42 miles and 52 chains in the center of the Missouri River. Thence eastward fourteen miles and 27 chains. Then Southward on the line of Clinton county 20 miles and 52 chains, and then westward along the northern border of Platte county to the point of beginning, twenty seven miles and 47 chains. Hughes reported this contained 400 square miles.

Initially there were eight townships as seen in the 1840 census report. Later the number was increased to 12. These names should not be confused with the names of neighboring counties, as they do not represent the same areas. To see a list of today's townships, click on Towns/Townships

The family of Danielle Thompson has graciously granted permission for Danielle's work to be used on this website to help those who are researching in Buchanan County, Missouri.  Danielle was the Buchanan County, Missouri County Coordinator from 25 July 2000 until 12 April 2003.