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Out of the Past


There are many resources for those who wish to research their Platte County heritage.  Listed here are only a few of the many places and tools available for those who research their Platte County roots.

Ben Ferrel Museum Library

The library, located in the lower level of the Ben Ferrel Museum, at 220 Ferrel Street in Platte City, has many resources available for researchers.  Admission is free to PCHS members and non-members can research for a modest fee.  The library has one computer, two microfilm readers (one with printing capacity), and one printer.  The library has an excellent collection of books on Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee (where many Platte County settlers came from), as well as Pennsylvania and other states.  The library has a large collection of historical society newsletters from other locations in the United States with strong Platte County ties.  In the lobby area are boxes of Archival Records with news clippings, photos, etc., of towns, families, politics, agriculture and tobacco, cemeteries, Civil War and other military topics.

The library contains many donated family histories; Platte County obituaries from area newspapers from the late 1970’s to the present; some individual family scrapbooks of family obituaries; and donated reference books on miscellaneous topics including beginning research guides to assist genealogists.  There are photos and scrapbooks from the Eleemosynenary Society as well as notebooks from the Platte City Study Club, and historical society scrabooks with photos, newspaper clippings, etc.

The library has paper copies of (1) transcribed Platte County census records from 1839-1870: (2) marriage records from 1839-1885; (3) probate book index with microfilm;  (4) county cemetery records; (5) atlases from 1877 and 1907 and a large wall map from 1899.

Platte County newspapers on microfilm in the library include: Weston Chronicle (1886-1904); The Weston Border Times (1864-1870); The Landmark (1871-1881; 1890-1893, and 1899-2004); The Argus (1898-1929); Edgerton Journal (1898-1903 and 1914-1928); Edgerton Gospel Herald (1903); Dearborn Democrat (1890 and 1898-1913); Platte County News from Camden Point (1917-1918); Parkville Independent (1897-1899); Weston World (1898-1901); Platte County Reveille (1869-1871); Platte County World from Parkville (1901);  Weston Commercial and Weekly Platte Argus (single copies 1854-1871).

In addition, one roll of microfilm contains single issues of:  The Weekly Platte Argus (1854, 1855); The Weston Reporter (1850, 1855); Platte County Sentinel (1863); The Western Mail (1860, 1862); The Weston Commercial (1874, 1875, 1876, 1879, 1880); Missouri Commercial (1872); Border Times Journal (1906, 1907); and Platte County Views (1968).

Archives Room

The Archives Room, operated by the Platte County Historical Society, is located in the old Platte County High School, and which is now called the Platte County Community Center.  It is accessed by traveling south on 4thfrom its intersection with Branch Street (Highway 92), to the first intersection (Zed Martin Street) then turn right (west) on Zed Martin Street.  The archives room is at the west end of the building, last door at the west end of the building.  Hours are from about 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursdays.

The Archives Room offers (1) Probate Records (except wills which are at the courthouse) in old boxes;  (2) Circuit Court records microfilmed and indexed up to the 1860’s.  After that date they are still in the process of being prepared for microfilming by the State of Missouri; (3) Many abstracts that belonged to Murdoch & Newby Abstract Company; and (4) miscellaneous items including pictures donated by estates as well as periodicals and articles out of newspapers. 

In addition to the Platte County Historical Society’s Historical Library and the Archives Room in Platte City, other possible resources for Platte County reseachers include the following:

 Platte County Courthouse

The Platte County Courthouse, located on the square in downtown Platte City, is a valuable information resource.   The Circuit Clerk's office and Probate office are in the original courthouse facing Main Street.

The Recorders office and County Clerk on in the county building behind the main courthouse.The courthouse has records of genealogical interest available:

 (1) Recorder of Deeds:    The Office of Recorder of Deeds records and files instruments of writing affecting real property or personal property, subdivision plats, federal and state tax liens, and other instruments of writing. Also, the Recorder’s Office issues marriage licenses, and in accordance with the Uniform Commercial Code files termination statements. All recorded instruments are available for public research, on microfilm or microfiche.  Available at the Platte County Courthouse office are: the Index to deeds, 1839-1890; Deed records, 1839-present; Index to marriage records, 1838-present; Marriage records, 1839-present; Application for marriage licenses, 1913-present.

 (2) Clerk of the Circuit Court: This office holds the direct index to records such as divorces, debt, dissolution of partnerships, adoptions, judgment, and tax fee books including direct and indirect indexes. They also retain the index to criminal records and criminal files of the circuit court. Adoptions are under the jurisdiction of the circuit court. Naturalization records, including petitions, declarations of intention, certificates, and certificates of allegiance, and granting of citizenship are also located in the clerk's office, as well as an index to civil case files. Some naturalization records have been found with the deeds.  Found at the Platte County Courthouse office, in old books, are Circuit court records, 1839-1887; Index to naturalization records, 1846-1886; Naturalization records, 1846-1886 and 1905-1924; Declarations of naturalizations, 1907-1926.

 (3) Clerk of the Probate Court:  Found at the Platte County Courthouse office, on microfilm, are: Index to probate records, 1839-1936; Probate records 1839-1887; Administrator’s/executor’s letters, bonds and records, 1849-1894; Inventories, appraisements and sale bills, 1852-1891; Settlement records, 1872-1902; Probate packets, 1894; Will records, 1840-1933.

 (4) Platte County Clerk of the Court.   In this office in each county is located an index to common pleas, records of all extant proceedings, chancery minute books, records of births and deaths, county court records, right-of-way and road records, as well as surveyor's records (including field notes and plats made by the county surveyor). This office usually holds the county treasurer's notes, bonds and commissions, records of marks and brands, wolf scalps, stray notices, real estate assessments, and tax books. In some counties, early terms for this court included “Chancery” or the “Court of Common Pleas.” Platte County Clerk of the Court also has Birth & Death Records from 1883-87.


 Platte County Newspapers on Microfilm

For those willing to journey down to Columbia, Mo., the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Newspaper Library, located at 1020 Lowry Street on the University of Missouri campus, contains hundreds of microfilms of newspapers from throughout the state.  Hours are Monday, Wednesday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00p.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Included are newspapers dating back to the 1800’s and many papers that no longer exist. Some microfilm rolls are available through interlibrary loan.  For more information visit their website at

Platte County newspapers on microfilm at the Newspaper Library and dates of available newspapers are:

CAMDEN POINT  - Home Bee Oct 12, 1908; Platte County News (w) Dec 7, 1917-Nov 1, 1918

DEARBORN - Democrat (w) - Nov 21-Dec 26, 1890; Jly 1, 1898-Dec 28, 1900; Jly 26, 1901-May 31, 1923; Sep 12, 1941-Jly 7, 1977

EDGERTON - Citizen (w) - Jly 21, 1967-Dec 30, 1977;   Gospel Herald (w) Jan 7-Oct 7, 1903;  Journal (w) - Jan 6, 1898-Dec 20, 1900; Sep 3-Dec 10, 1903; Jan 9, 1914-Sep 17, 1942; Platte County Citizen (w) - Jan 6, 1978-Sep 23, 1983

FERRELLVIEW - Suburban Views (w) - Oct 18, 1973-Aug 25, 1977

PARKVILLE - Independent (w) - Dec 16, 1897-Jly 6, 1899;  North Kansas City Platte Dispatch (w) - Jan 2, 1969-Dec 30, 1971;  Northland Gazette (w) - Sep 5, 1985-Jun 1, 1988; Platte County Gazette (w) - Jly 13, 1899-Dec 27, 1900; Sep 26, 1901-Aug 29, 1985; Jun 8, 1988-Jan 28, 1998; Platte County Sun-Gazette (w) - Feb 4, 1998-present; Platte County World (w) - Aug 19, 1900-Nov 28, 1901

PLATTE CITY – Atlas - Sep 5, Oct 3, 10, 31, Dec 19, 1863; Jan 30, 1864; Landmark (w) - Jun 9, 1871-Feb 4, 1881; Oct 10, 1890-Jun 2, 1893; Aug 4, 1893-Sep 14, Nov 2, 1900; Jan 4, 1901-present;  Platte Argus (w) - Feb 16, 1847; Jan 14, 1848-Feb 16, 1849;  Platte County Advocate - Apr 21, 1876; Oct 4, 1878;  Platte County Argus (w) - Jan 6, 1898-Dec 31, 1925;  Platte County Citizen (w) - Sep 30, 1983-Dec 6, 2001; May 7, 2003-present;  Platte County Conservator - Jly 19, Sep 6, 20, 24, Oct 4, 11, 25-Nov 1, Dec 6-13, 27, 1862; Jan 10-31, Feb 21, Mar 7-Apr 11, May 9, 1863;  Platte County Reveille (w) - Jly 6, 1866-Jun 2, 1871;  Platte County Sentinel - Mar 24, Apr 7, Jun 23, 1864

WESTON - Border Times (w) - Feb 13-Nov 11, Dec 9, 16, 30, 1864; Jan 6, 13, Feb 3, 1865-Jan 27, Feb 16-Aug 24, Sep 21-Dec 21, 1866; Jan 4-Feb 15, Aug 9, 1867; Feb 28, 1868-Feb 18, 1870;   Chronicle (w) - May 7, 1886-present; Commercial (w) - Dec 18, 1874; Jun 4, 1875; Nov 3, 1876; May 9, Oct 17, 1879; May 14, Sep 17, 1880; Journal - Dec 6, 1906; Oct 10, 1907;  Weston and Platte City Landmark (w) - Jan 5, 12, Feb 2, 23, Mar 16, 23, Apr 6, May 11, 25, Jun 1, 15, Aug 10-Sep 8, 29, Oct 6-20, Nov 3-24, Dec 8, 1866; Feb 8, Jly 5, Aug 30, Sep 13, Oct 18, 1867;  Missouri Commercial - Sep 13, 1872;  Weekly Platte Argus - Dec 16, 1854; May 12, Aug 18, 1855;  Platte County Argus (w) - Jan 7, 1926-Sep 26, 1929;  Platte County Sentinel (w) - Sep 17, 1863 (partial);  Platte County Views - Apr 11, 1968;  Weston Reporter (w) - Aug 31, 1850; Jan 11, 1855;  Western Mail (w) - Sep 5, 1860; Jan 4 1862;  Weston World (w) - Feb 18, 1898-Jly 19, 1900

On-Line Platte County Research

Some helpful online Platte County research sites include but are not limited to:   (includes links to Platte County maps, cemeteries, census, archives, and surname list)  (includes links to genealogy resources)  (Platte County Missouri genealogy forum - messages and queries for Platte County families, individuals, records, locations, etc.)   (includes images of various records)  (a listing of Platte County records available at the Missouri Archives in Jefferson City dating back to the mid-1800s, including Circuit Court, County Collector, Coroner, County Clerk, Court of Common Pleas, Justice of the Peace, Probate Court, Recorder of Deeds, School Records)  (Platte County land patents 1831-1969)


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