Ellington in Reynolds County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
In an area of rugged beauty near the geologic center of the Ozark Highland, Reynolds County was organized 1845, and named for Missouri's 7th governor, Thomas Reynolds. Drained by the Black River, called L'eau Noire by early French trappers, the county lies in land claimed by the Osage Indians until 1808. Kentuckian Henry Fry was probably the first settler in 1812.
Centerville, the second town to serve as county seat, is on the West Fork of Black River. 80 acres were acquired there from John Buford for $100 in 1845. It succeeded Lesterville as the county seat when the courthouse there burned, 1867. Centerville had a courthouse, 1872. In Civil War , troops and guerrilla bands foraged the area.
Clearwater Lake, in southeast Reynolds County, flood control measure and popular resort area, was impounded by a dam built on Black River, 1940-48. Near Lesterville is Johnson Shut-Ins State Park, opened 1956, on land donated by Joseph Desloge. The scenic shut-ins, where East Fork of Black River flows over some of Missouri's oldest exposed rock, is named for an earlier settler.
Reynolds County, resort, lumbering, and livestock farming area, was once one of the State's leading timber producers. About 85 percent of the virgin pine forests were cut out in the lumbering boom in the 1880's to 1920's. During 1898, a peak year, some 92 million board feet were produced. A large part of the county is now in Clark National Forest, established during the 1930's.
The lumber industry brought the Mill Spgs., Current R., Barnesville (Mo. Southern) Railroad. No longer operating, it was built through west Reynolds County in 1884-86. Ellington, founded 1847, by Thomas Barnes was a prominent lumber town and shipping center. Ruble, Corridon, Reynolds, Garwood, and Bunker were other shipping stations. Redford, Black, Monterey, and Greeley are among other county communities.
Near Lesterville at Proffit Mtn. (altitude 800 feet) is Taum Sauk power station built 1960-63. Water pumped at night through a 7000-foot tunnel cut through solid granite to reservoir atop the mountain is released to create daytime power by flowing down to reservoir at the foot of the mountain made by damming East Fork of Black River.
Erected 1961 by State Historical Society of Missouri; and State Highway Commission.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Missouri, The State Historical Society of series list. A significant historical date for this entry is February 25, 1845.
Location. 37° 17.07′ N, 90° 57.42′ W. Marker is in Ellington, Missouri, in Reynolds County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 21, 3 miles north of East Walnut Street (State Highway 106), on the right when traveling north. Marker is located in a wayside/rest area on the east side of the highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ellington MO 63638, United States of America. Touch for directions.
More about this marker. Marker is not visible from the highway; exit and drive through the wayside/rest area to access marker.
Also see . . . Reynolds County, Missouri. Wikipedia entry:
The Reynolds County Courthouse has burned twice. The first time was in December 1863 when the Confederate army burned it. A new courthouse was built in the fall of 1867 on the same foundation as the previous one. This courthouse was burned in late November 1871. Both times all records were destroyed. Temporary quarters again burned May 27, 1872, while a new "fireproof" courthouse was being built. (Submitted on August 21, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 3, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 20, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 349 times since then and 110 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 20, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 4. submitted on February 3, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. 5. submitted on August 21, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.