Clinton, Crawford Count, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 23.069 W 093° 45.464
15S E 433821 N 4248747
The largest city in Henry County, and at one time known as the Baby Chick Capitol of the World.
Waymark Code: WM123FA
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 02/17/2020
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member coisos
Views: 0

County of marker: Henry County
Location of marker: Price Lane (US 54), Katy Trail State Park, Clinton Trailhead
Marker erected by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Marker text:
1836 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Largest City in Henry County

Welcome to Clinton, the largest city in Henry County. The city is named for DeWitt Clinton, governor of New York (1817-23) and primary advocate for the Erie Canal. Henry County (originally Rives County) honors Patrick Henry, patriot and orator, who is said to have roused the Virginia colonial legislature with the words "give me liberty or give me death."

County commissioners chose the site of Clinton in 1836. Daniel Morgan Boone, first son of the famous Daniel Boone, was one of these commissioners. The following year, when the populations of the town had yet to reach 50, construction of the courthouse began on the last high ground heading west. Although the original courthouse was razed in 1887, the current one (built in 1892) is located on the same site. Both courthouses served as focal point for the largest public square in Missouri, and one of the largest in the nation.

The Golden Valley
Local tradition credits the Osage for labeling present-day Clinton as "The Golden Valley." It was said that storms from the western prairies dissipated here, and the area was believed to be free of severe weather.

Golden Valley settlers were primarily agrarian, but within a generation, Clinton boasted a brick courthouse, a two-story log tavern, a stagecoach depot and a two-story brick residence known as the judge Dorman home (now in the National Register of Historic Places).

As was true in many rural towns, the Civil War kept prosperity at bay. Three separate skirmishes were fought in Clinton between 1862 and 1864. Henry County's position in the war is reflected in the fact that it supplied over 10 men to the Confederate Army for every one man to the Union.

1867 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Railroads Encouraged Industry

At the end of the Civil War, the nearest railroad lay 35 miles northeast at Sedalia. Towns along the rails prospered. Others either voted for railroad bonds of faced decline. Henry County first entered the competition in 1867 when it contributed $400,000 toward the construction of the Tebo & Neosho Railroad. The Tebo was to be built from Sedalia to Fort Scott, Kan., by way of Clinton. Three years later the line was sold to the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Co. (MKT or Katy).

The first train rolled into Clinton with great fanfare on the morning of Aug. 23, 1870. Many in attendance had never seen a train before. Within its first 10 years of rail service, Clinton's population grew 450 percent. Other railroads developed connections through Clinton. The Kansas City & Southern RR (late the Frisco) made its first run out of Clinton on May 6, 1883. The Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield RR began scheduled passenger service on Nov. 27, 1885.

In the heyday of Clinton's railroads (1870-1945), local industries exported enormous quantities of coal, pottery, flour, beer and baby chicks. From its humble beginnings in 1912, Royal Booth developed the first modern hatchery business in the U.S. Booth made poultry breeding a specialized industry by entirely systemizing [sic - meant systematizing?] the hatchery. From the 1920s to 1940s, the company advertised itself as the largest hatchery in the country with over one million eggs in incubation at a time. Clinton still takes pride in another nicknames: Baby Chick Capital of the World.

1958 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
From Rail to Trail

The first MKT depot in Clinton was built a few blocks south of the square in 1870. It burned in June 1886, and was replaced by a new structure of Victorian design. The station was remodeled in 1944. Passenger service on the Katy line ended on May 1, 1958. The MKT acquired the remaining Frisco tracks in Clinton, and moved its freight operation into the Frisco's Green Street station in 1978. The Chamber of Commerce bought the depot the following year and moved it to the southeast corner of the square where it stands today.

The Katy hit hard times in the 1980s, finding itself overbuilt and hard-pressed to compete with the larger railroads and modern tracking. Katy filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission in August 1986 to discontinue use of its rail between Sedalia and Machens. Two years later, the company merged into the Union Pacific Railroad. Union Pacific generously donated the rail corridor between Sedalia and Clinton to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in December 1991.

Though the whistle remains silent, visitors still arrive in Clinton along the age-old corridor. The department reopened this line to non-motorized travelers as an extension of Katy Trail State Park on Sept. 12, 1999. Little is left to remind visitors of the bustle of train activity that once took place. Yet Katy Caboose No. 206 stands nearby as both monument and testimony to an era that shaped the prosperity of Clinton.

Who placed it?: Missouri Department of Natural Resources

When was it placed?: 2000

Who is honored?: Railroaders, Royal Booth, DeWitt Clinton, Daniel Morgan Boone,

Website about the Monument: Not listed

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