Bowling Green, Pike County, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 20.526 W 091° 11.664
15S E 655599 N 4356295
The history of this the second county seat in Pike County. Also a brief intro the Champ Clark, long time speaker of the US House. Even the song "Sweet Betsy From Pike" was inspired by this county.
Waymark Code: WM11WTW
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 12/31/2019
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member coisos
Views: 2

County Marker: Pike County
Marker Location: Main Cross St. & Main St., courthouse lawn, Bowling Green
Organized: Dec. 14, 1818
Named after: Zebulon Pike, commander of expedition up Mississippi River in 1818
County seat: Bowling Green
Marker Erected by: State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission
Date Marker Erected: 1957

Marker Text:

Bowling Green, the capital of Pike County, lies 12 miles in from the Mississippi River on a rolling plain, 880 feet above sea level. First pioneer here, John W. Basye, came in 1820 and by 1823 the settlement, named for Bowling Green, Kentucky, succeeded Louisiana as the Pike County seat of justice.

Here on the pioneer Salt River Trail, the town made a steady growth. Early schools were Pike Academy, 1837; Isaac W. Basye's Normal School, 1867; and J.D. Meriwether's Bowling Green College, 1881. The Chicago and Alton R.R.(G.M.& O.)was completed in 1871 and the St. Louis and Hannibal in 1876. Limestone quarries were opened in the late 1800's. Near here, the first Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church west of the Mississippi was organized in 1820.

When the county, named for the explorer Zebulon M. Pike, was organized in 1818, it included all of Missouri's Upper Salt River Country from which have come 9 whole counties and parts of 6 others. Many Pike Countians joined the 1849 Gold Rush, and the ballads "Joe Bowers" and "Sweet Betsy from Pike" are associated with this county.

Bowling Green serves as seat of a grain, livestock, and fruit farming county here in the Glacial Plains Region of Missouri. Sac and Fox Indians ceded claims to the area in 1804 and again in 1824. During the War of 1812, a number of settlers who came to the county from Ky, N.C., and S.C. as early as 1808 found protection in Buffalo Fort near Louisiana. In the Civil War, the only action in the county was at nearby Ashley, 1862, when some 30 Union troops held the town against a raid by 150 Confederates. In 1861, 8 companies of Union troops trained here.

Bowling Green was the home of famed Congressman, speaker of the House, James Beauchamp (Champ) Clark (1850-1921). His son, Bennett Champ Clark (1890-1954), U.S. Senator, was born here, and here also were born diplomat John F. Swift (1829-1891), and Admiral W.R. Purnell (1886-1955). Elliot W. Major, 33rd governor of Mo. lived here.

Points of interest here include the state statue of Champ Clark by F.C. Hibbard; the Clark House known as Honey Shuck;1 the J.W. Basye2 and Purnell Houses; and Purnell memorial plaque at the courthouse.

corrections and updates since 1957:

1. In 1976, Champ Clark's Honey Shuck was named to the National register of Historic Places.

2. After a 1978 fire caused extensive damage, the J.W. Basye house was razed in 1979.

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

When was it placed?: 1957

Who is honored?: Champ Clark, Zebulon Pike, railroaders, and academics who braved this land to start something new...

Website about the Monument: [Web Link]

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