Bowling Green in Pike County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Bowling Green, the capital of Pike County, lies 12 miles in from the Mississippi River on a rolling plain, 880 feet above sea level. First pioneer here, John W. Basye, came in 1820 and by 1823, the settlement, named for Bowling Green, Kentucky, succeeded Louisiana as the Pike County seat of justice.
Here on the pioneer Salt River Trail, the town made a steady growth. Early schools were Pike Academy, 1837; Isaac W. Basye's Normal School, 1867; and J.D.Meriwether's Bowling Green College, 1881. The Chicago and Alton R.R.(G.M.& O.)was completed in 1871 and the St. Louis and Hannibal in 1876. Limestone quarries were opened in the late 1800's. Near here, the first Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church west of the Mississippi was organized in 1820.
When the county, named for the explorer Zebulon M. Pike, was organized in 1818, it included all of Missouri's Upper Salt River Country from which have come 9 whole counties and parts of 6 others. Many Pike Countians joined the 1849 Gold Rush, and the ballads "Joe Bowers" and "Sweet Betsy from Pike" are associated with this county.
Bowling Green serves as seat of a grain, livestock, and fruit farming county here in the Glacial Plains Region of Missouri. Sac and Fox Indians ceded claims
Bowling Green was the home of famed Congressman, Speaker of the House, James Beauchamp (Champ) Clark (1850-1921). His son, Bennett Champ Clark (1890-1954), U.S. Senator, was born here, and here also were born diplomat John F. Swift (1829-1891), and Admiral W.R. Purnell (1886-1955). Elliot W. Major, 33rd governor of Mo. lived here.
Points of interest here include the state statue of Champ Clark by F.C. Hibbard; the Clark House known as Honey Shuck; the J.W. Basye and Purnell Houses; and Purnell memorial plaque at the courthouse.
Erected 1957 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. 39° 20.529′ N, 91° 11.664′ W. Marker is in Bowling Green, Missouri, in Pike County. Marker is at the intersection Touch for map. Marker is on the northwest corner. Marker is in this post office area: Bowling Green MO 63334, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Champ Clark (within shouting distance of this marker); Louisiana (approx. 8.6 miles away); Welcome to Illinois (approx. 13.7 miles away in Illinois).
Categories. • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 6, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 291 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 6, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Al Wolf was the editor who published this page.