Mercer County
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 40° 27.416 W 093° 32.814
15T E 453629 N 4478617
Located in old Calamity Jane Roadside Park on US-65
Waymark Code: WM1201N
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 01/20/2020
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member coisos
Views: 1

County of Marker: Mercer County
Location of Marker: US-65, Calamity Jane Roadside park, 4 miles N. of Princeton
Date Marker Erected: 1960
Marker Erected by: State Historical Society of Missouri and State highway Commission

Marker Text:

Here in Missouri's north central glacial plains, Mercer County was organized, 1845. Named for Rev. War Gen. Hugh Mercer, the county is in territory ceded by Iowa, Sac, and Fox tribes in 1824. Indians hunted in the area into the 1840's. The first settler in Mercer County, James Parsons, came to what is now Princeton, 1837. Early settlers were from Ky., Tenn., Ohio, and Ill.

Princeton, the county seat, was laid out, 1846, on high ground over-looking the Weldon River and named for 1777 Battle of Princeton where General Mercer lost his life. With coming of Chicago, Rock Is. & Pac. R.R., 1871, the town grew as shipping and trading point. From 1871 to 1911, Princeton suffered a number of damaging fires, one side of the square burned five times.

Calamity Jane, colorful character of the western frontier, was born Martha Jane Canary1 near Princeton about 1852. By her claim she was pony-express rider and scout with Gen. George Custer. She died in 1903 and is buried by Wild Bill Hickok in Deadwood, S. Dak. Calamity Jane Roadside Park near Princeton was named for her.

Mercer County, rich grain and livestock farming area well watered tributaries of Grand River, lies along the middle of the Missouri-Iowa boundary line. A lively border dispute, centering in Lineville, arose between Mercer and Decatur County, Ia., in 1894. Each county claimed same land strip as 1851 boundary markers placed by U.S. Supreme Court order were obliterated. In 1897, settlement came when U.S. Supreme Court Commission re-marked disputed area. Mercer County won most of its claims.

Strong Union county in War Between the States, Mercer saw little activity. Among towns are Ravanna, laid out 1857, once a contestant for county seat; Modena, laid out 1858; and Mercer, laid out in 1871, settled 1859, and first called Marion.

In Princeton is Hyde family home now Axtell Hospital2. There lived Ira B. Hyde, member 43rd Congress, and there was born his son, Arthur M. Hyde, Mayor Princeton, 1908-10; Gov. of Mo., 1921-25; U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1929-33. Lawrence M. Hyde, another son, was elected Missouri Supreme Court Judge for his first term in 19423.

Some corrections and up-dates:
1. The correct spelling is Cannary.
2. Axtell Hospital closed its doors in the mid-1990's
3. The correct spelling is Laurance Hyde.

In the galley are photos of Arthur M. Hyde who served as Princeton mayor, governor of Missouri, and secretary of agriculture in the Herbert Hoover administration.

Also, in the gallery, is a true photo of Martha Jane Cannary, more commonly known as Calamity Jane, who gained fame of mythical proportions as a wild, rough-and-tumble woman of the West.

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

When was it placed?: 1960

Who is honored?: Mary Jane Cannary, Arthur Hyde, Hugh Mercer, James parsons, farmers, settlers and railroaders who grew the county

Website about the Monument: [Web Link]

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