RAY COUNTY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR GENEALOGISTS AND HISTORIANS

1. Q: Who was the first settler from the United States in Ray County?

A: John Vanderpool from Tennessee who settled near present-day Hardin on the west side of the Crooked River in August 1815.

2. Q: What is the date of the founding of Ray County?

A: January 1, 1821

3. Q: From which county was Ray County carved?

A: Howard

4. Q: After whom is Ray County named?

A: John Ray, a delegate to the Missouri statehood convention

5. Q. What was the first county seat of Ray County?

A: Bluffton, located near what is now Camden.

6. Who was the first sheriff of Ray County

A: John Harris

7. Q: When did Richmond replace Bluffton as the county seat?

A: 1828

8. Q: How did Richmond get its name?

A: Some of the founders wanted to honor Virginia's capital which is, of course, Richmond.

9. Q: From what states did many of the earliest settlers come to settle in Ray County?

A: Heavily represented are:Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina

10. Q: Which present-day counties in northwestern Missouri include the territory which was originally part of Ray County when it was first created in 1821?

A: Caldwell, Carroll, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Livingston, Mercer, and Worth.

11. Q: Which well-known Mexican War general, a citizen of Ray County and a lawyer, was honored with a statue in front of the Ray County Court House in Richmond?

A: Alexander Doniphan

12. Q: What Mormon leaders were buried in Old City Cemetery in Richmond?

A: Oliver Cowdrey and David Whitmer, 2 of the 3 witnesses to the Book of Mormon

13. Q: Which Confederate guerilla leader did Federal troops hunt, rundown, and kill in Ray County in 1864? (He's also buried here)

A: "Bloody" Bill Anderson

14. Q: What great natural disaster swept through Richmond on June 1, 1878.

A: A tornado (contemporaries called it the Great Cyclone)

15. Q: Which Richmond banking house did Jesse James and his gang visit in 1867?

A: Hughes and Wasson

16. Q: Which Ray County personality became well-known as the "dirty rotten coward who shot Mr. Howard"?

A: Bob Ford

17. Q: And who was "Mr. Howard"?

A: Jesse James

18. Q: What Ray County Missouri River port was left high and dry when the Big Muddy changed course in 1915?

A: Camden

19. Q: Which Ray County citizens served as governor of the State of Missouri?

A: Austin A. King, elected 1848; and Forrest Smith, elected 1948. In addition, Sam Baker, a Richmond Superintendant of Schools became governor in 1924.

20. Q: What Twentieth Century Richmond banker was believed to be the oldest active banker in the United States shortly before he died in 1979 at the age of 102?

A: William Franklin Yates

21. Q: By what popular name is the flood plain of the Missouri River known in these parts?

A: the Bottoms

© 2007