Palmyra, Marion County, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 47.958 W 091° 31.397
15S E 626422 N 4406524
Human movement in the area, and human tragedy alone the way...
Waymark Code: WM11V5E
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 12/21/2019
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member coisos
Views: 1

County of marker: Marion County
Location of marker: Main St. (US-61), courthouse lawn, Palmyra
Erected by: State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission
Date Erected: 1955

Marker Text:


Palmyra, founded in 1819, was for many years the northernmost town on the Salt River Trail from St. Charles to the Des Moines River. A Federal Land Office for the Salt River area located here, 1824 – 58, led all others in the state in the sale of public land. In 1827 Palmyra became the seat of a newly organized county named for Revolutionary General Francis Marion.

On the Mississippi near here is the site of Marion City, laid out, 1835, by promoter William Muldrow. His wide sale of lots in the East resulted in an immigration called the “Eastern Run.” Development of the new town was stopped by Mississippi floods.

Muldrow also laid out Philadelphia, west of Palmyra, where Presbyterian minister David Nelson had founded Marion College, the first Protestant college chartered in Missouri, 1831. Easter funds and teachers gave the school early fame, but, in time, it closed for lack of money. In 1842 the Masonic Grand Lodge of Missouri bought it, renamed it Masonic College, and moved it to Lexington, MO. in 1847. In Palmyra was St. Paul’s (Episcopal) College, opened, 1848.

Palmyra, called the “Handsomest City in North Missouri” by 1860, was settled largely by Southerners on land ceded by the U.S. by Iowa, Sauk, and Fox trives, 1824. First white settler in the county area was Frenchman Maturin Bouvet, 1795. He shipped salt from his salines from a point southeast on the Mississippi until killed by Indians, 1800.

In a noted trial here in 1841 the Illinois abolitionists George Thompson, James Burr, and Alanson Work were sent to prison for attempting to entice slaves to run away.

A monument at the courthouse honors victims of the infamous Palmyra Massacre of October 18, 1862. By order of Union Col. John McNeil, 10 Confederate prisoners were shot when Confederate Col. John C. Porter could not return a captured pro-Union civilian.

Here lived T.B. Anderson, pioneer lawyer; Jacob Sosey, founder of the “Spectator,” 1839, oldest family-owned paper in Missouri; and World War I General W.P. Jackson. In local cemeteries lie W.H. Russell, founder of the Pony Express, and George “Pegleg” Shannon, member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Corrections and updates since 1955:
1. The correct first name for Colonel Porter is Joseph.
2. T. Anderson's middle initial should be L.

Who placed it?: State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission

When was it placed?: 1955

Who is honored?: William Muldrow, David Nelson, and other who risked it all to build someplace new...

Website about the Monument: [Web Link]

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