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Franklin County History
Franklin County was established in 1818, two years
before Missouri was admitted to the Union as a state. When the
Missouri Territory was organized in 1812, there were only five
counties: St. Charles, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau and
New Madrid. Franklin County was once part of St. Louis County.
Between 1812 and 1820, the number of counties increased to 15 with
the addition of Washington (1813), Howard (1816), and Jefferson,
Franklin, Wayne, Lincoln, Madison, Montgomery, Pike and Cooper (all
1818). Any student of history and genealogy relating to Franklin
County in the first half of the 19th century would be well advised
to become apprised of the details of county formation and township
formation as townships also evolved before assuming their present
form. Someone living in St. Louis County in 1814 might actually have
been in present-day Franklin County. Likewise, someone living in
Franklin County in 1818 could have been living in present-day
When the county was first organized, Newport was
selected as the first county seat and remained so until 1825, when
an act of Legislature effected its removal to Union. Before a
courthouse could be built at Union, court was held in a structure
belonging to Ambrose Ransom (see photo at right).
Two invaluable sources of early Franklin County
history are Goodspeed and Kiel histories. "Goodspeed" is
an 1888 history published by Goodspeed Publishing Company of
Chicago, Illinois, correctly called "History of Missouri,
Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford, & Gasconade Counties.
The "Kiel" history, correctly referred to as "The
Centennial Biographical Directory of Franklin County, Missouri"
compiled and published by Herman Gottlieb Kiel", 1925, is
basically a book of lists, but the lists are a great tool for the
What Can You Do To Make
This Site Better?
Provide information for posting
that relates to Franklin County History, keeping in mind that we cannot
and do not violate copyright
laws. If in doubt, ask.
Volunteer to post
material on the Message Board. Family obituaries, family records,
other obituaries, and
other information from microfilm newspapers. If you have time to do
this and need something to post, let us know. Volunteers are welcome!
Our Message Board is one of the largest county boards in the United
Be alert for material that could
be posted here or on the Message Board, such as church records, school records (not grades),
county or town records. If you can't transcribe the information, at
least let us know where it is in case a volunteer is able to do so.
Provide a link to your genealogy
website that relates to Franklin County. If you discover a family
genealogy website that relates to Franklin County, let us know the URL
so we can ask permission to link to it.
information about what YOUR historical society is doing. If you
don't tell us, we might not know about it and chances are, it
won't get posted.
about helpful links and inform us when you find a bad link on this
18 November 1996, you are the
visitor to this site.
First Courthouse in Union