Near Bethany in Harrison County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Here in the undulating glacial plains of north central Missouri, Harrison is one of 9 counties forming the State's border with Iowa. Twenty-sixth in size of Missouri's 114 counties, and second largest on the border, it was organized 1845, and named for Mo. Congressman Albert G. Harrison. Now 720 sq. miles, it did not achieve its present size until the U.S. Supreme Court established the Missouri-Iowa boundary in 1851.
Bethany, the seat of justice, first called Dallas, was laid out 1845, at direction of John Allen, county seat commissioner, later member 1861 State Convention. Bethany is prototype of the town in the famed 1883 novel "The Story of a Country Town" by Edgar (Ed) W. Howe (1853-1937), founder of the Atchison, Kansas, Globe. His father Henry Howe, was minister and editor in Bethany when Ed was a boy.
Union county in War Between the States, Harrison sent a number of Federal troops. The first railroad, a branch of the C. B. & Q., reach Bethany in 1880. The town grew as trading and shipping point. Handsome fairgrounds there date from early 1900's.
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A county of fertile Grand River basin, Harrison is a grain and livestock farming area. In region ceded by Iowa, Sac, and Fox tribes, 1824, the county was roamed
Early settlers from Ohio, Ill., other parts of Mo., and the East, came in the late 1830's. Later a number of Bohemians settled in the county. Among county towns are Eagleville and Ridgeway, once contestants for county seat; Cainsville, once a coal mining town; Mt. Moriah; New Hampton; Martinsville; Gilman City; Blythedale; and Melbourne.
Union Gen. Benjamin N. Prentiss practiced law in Bethany and there educator John R. Kirk (1851-1937) lived as a boy. He and progressive education leader Eugene Fair (1877-1937), born in Gilman City, were both presidents of Northeast Mo. State Teachers College. Joseph H. Burrows (1840-1918), who introduced first bill (1881) to cut postage from 3¢ to 2¢ and named John J. Pershing for West Point appointment, was business man and minister in Cainsville.
Erected 1959 by State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Missouri, State Historical Society of marker series.
Location. 40° 14.863′ N, 94° 3.656′ W. Marker is near Bethany, Missouri, in Harrison County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. Click for map. Marker is at a roadside pullout. Marker is in this post office area: Bethany MO 64424, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Harrison County Court (a few steps from this marker); Home of Babe Adams (approx. 2 miles away); Bethany Veterans' Memorial (approx. 2.1 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. 1930 Plat Book of Harrison County, Missouri. (Submitted on July 9, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
2. Harrison County, Missouri, Genealogy. (Submitted on July 9, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Agriculture • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 346 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.