Kingston, Caldwell County, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 38.575 W 094° 02.317
15S E 410882 N 4388641
Caldwell County Seat, replaced the Mormon town of Far West.
Waymark Code: WM127Q9
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 03/22/2020
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member coisos
Views: 0

County of Marker: Caldwell County
Location of Marker: E. Main St. & S. Washington St. (MO 13), courthouse lawn, Kingston
Marker Erected by: State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission
Date Marker Erected: 1957
Marker Text:

The fertile Shoal Creek Valley, Kingston was laid out in 1843 to replace Far West as seat of Caldwell County. Organized in 1836, the county was to be for Latter Day Saints (Mormons), ejected from Jackson County in 1833 and asked to leave Clay County, 1836. Far West, near here, was their county seat and church headquarters. When the "Mormon War" began, Far West had 3,000 settlers.

Hostilities between Latter Day Saints and their neighbors arose over political, social and economic differences. First hostile acts were at the Latter Day Saints' settlements Adam-ondi-Ahman and De Witt in Daviess and Carroll counties. Involved were Missouri Militiamen and Caldwell County Militia of Mormons. After massacre of 17 Latter Day Saints at Haun's Mill, the Caldwell Militia surrendered at Far West, November 1, 1838.

Church leaders, Joseph Smith among them, were accused of treason and ordered shot. They were jailed when Brig. Gen. Alexander W. Doniphan refused to enforce the order. Some were freed, others escaped, as charges were unsustained. About 12,000 Latter Day Saints removed to Illinois by June of 1839.

Kingston serves as seat of a livestock and grain farming county in the Glacial Plains of Missouri. Named for John Caldwell, Indian scout, the county lies in an area utilized by Missouri and Osage Indians and claimed by the Iowa, Sauk, and Fox until their 1824 land cession. First settler was Jesse Mann, 1831.

Named for Judge, later Governor, Austin A. King, the town lies on land donated by James Ramsey and William Hill. The first house was moved here from Far West, left desolate after the "Mormon War." In June 1864, some 300 Confederates under Captains Thrailkell and Taylor raided the town.1

Northeast is Hamilton, the county's largest town, founded in 1855 in anticipation of the Hannibal and St. Joseph R.R. (C.B.&Q.) built through the county, 1859. To the northwest, at Kidder was Thayer College, later Kidder (Congregational) Institute, 1884-1933.

Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were among Latter Day Saints to live in Caldwell County. Noted merchant and philanthropist James C. Penney was born near Hamilton and playwright Paul Armstrong, near Kidder.

Corrections since 1957:
1. The correct spelling is John Thrailkill

The son of a Baptist preacher and farmer, J.C. Penney found his first job in 1895 as a clerk in a local store. He later organized the J. C. Penney Company, which established stores throughout the nation.

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

When was it placed?: 1957

Who is honored?: Mormons, Settlements of Far West and Adam-ondi-Ahman, General Alexander Doniphan, John Caldwell, Jesse Mann, Austin King, J.C. Penney, Joseph Smith & Bringham Young

Website about the Monument: [Web Link]

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