Unionville, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 40° 28.603 W 093° 00.148
15T E 499790 N 4480670
Historical marker giving brief history of Unionville and Putnam County, located in front of the Putnam County Courthouse.
Waymark Code: WM11N2F
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 11/17/2019
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member coisos
Views: 1

County of marker: Putnam County
Location of marker: Main St. (US-136) & S. 17th St., courthouse lawn, Unionville
Marker erected by: State Historical Society of Missouri & State Highway Commission
Date Erected: 1958

Text of marker:


Judicial seat of Putnam County since 1853,  Unionville lies 1070 feet above sea level in a scenic region of wooded hills and rolling prairies.  Unionville, first named Harmony, was the fifth site to be designated county seat in attempts to keep a central location in the face of changing county boundaries.

Named for Revolutionary War Gen. Israel Putnam, the county, when organized in 1845, included a large area.  A year later it was reduced by the formation of Dodge County.  Both counties extended 9 miles into Iowa until the U.S. Supreme Court established the Mo.-Iowa boundary, 1851.  Dodge County was reabsorbed by Putnam in 1853.

Unionville and Putnam County, pro-Union in the Civil War, saw little action, but all growth halted.  Progress returned with the coming of the Burlington & Southwestern R.R. (C.B. & Q.) in 1873, and development of the county's coal mining industry in the 1880's.  The Putnam dye industry, now of Quincy, Illinois, was founded in Unionville by E. N. Monroe, J. H. Elson, and others as "Monroe Drug Co.," 1891.1   The first chapter of the P.E.O. organized in Mo. was in Unionville in 1886.

Unionville is marketing, banking, and legal center for a livestock farming and a coal mining county in the glacial plains of north Missouri.  Sac, Fox, and Iowa tribes who gave up their claims to the region, 1824, roamed the area into the 1840's.  Brightwell Martin is said to be the county's first permanent white settler in the winter of 1836.

Coal mining began in the county in 1879 and in 1881 Mendota was founded by the Mendota Coal & Mining Co.  To the east are sites of earlier county seats, Putnamville; Calhoun (never used); Winchester (Bryant's Store); and Fairplay (Hartford).  St. John, to the northwest, was the seat of short-lived Dodge County.  Mormons are said to have traveled through a part of the county in 1846, and to have rested at the St. John city well, an early rest stop for travelers.

Putnam County was the home of Henry Clay Dean (1822-87) noted lecturer, lawyer, and writer whose home Rebel Cove on the Chariton River was once a showplace.  It later burned.  John C. McKinley (1859-1927) Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, 1905-1909, was born in Putnam County near Mendota.

Who placed it?: State Historical Societyy of Missouri & State Highway Commission

When was it placed?: 1958

Who is honored?: Settlers, miners, and those who began new businesses

Website about the Monument: [Web Link]

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