Dent County, Missouri was taken out of Crawford and Shannon Counties by an act passed by the Missouri General Assembly to take effect February 10, 1851. The county's name comes from an early settler, Lewis Dent, who was the new counties first representative to the legislature. The first county officers appointed were Justices G. C. Breckinridge (president), Samuel Hyer, Jr., and Jotham Clark. Joseph Milsaps was sheriff and David Henderson was clerk. They met at Eaphraim Bressie's about 2 miles northwest of the present Salem on Spring Creek which was on the "old White River road."
The first known white settler within the present limits of Dent County was George Cole who moved out from St. Louis. He was the first man to clear and cultivate a farm here which was on the Meramec River near Short Bend. This was later the site of the Nelson Mill, one of the counties first mills. This tract of land is presently owned by Jerry Hedrick, 1978.
Some of the first settlers who came here in 1829 were William Thornton, Daniel Troutman, and Daniel M. Wooliver. Among those who followed were William Blackwell, Elisha Nelson, Jerry Potts, Eaphraim Bressie, Robert Leonard, Abner Wingfield, Lewis Dent, Wilson Craddock, Thomas Higgonbotham, Jack Berry, Silas Hamby, Smith Wofford, Turkill NcNeill, Dr. John Hyer, Samuel Hyer, and David Lenox. Among other families include the: Coppedge, Watkins, Skiles, Brown, Callahan, Welch, Snelson, Burlison, Massey, Vaughan, Taff, Arthur, Lamb, Freeman, Henderson, Agee, Johns, Bates, Jamison, Honey, Sims, McSpadden, Sinclair, Simmons, Organ, Love, and Orchard.
Most of these settlements were made on the Meramec, Spring Creek, and Dry Fork. Most of the settlers were from Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina.
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Dent County Coordinator: Mel Owings
Updated On Friday, May 24, 2013
© 2005 - 2013 by: Dent County, MO. MOGenWeb Coordinator