Osage County - Westphalia, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 27.237 W 092° 00.607
15S E 586371 N 4256647
French and German settlers in the region, their churches and their towns.
Waymark Code: WM3AET
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 03/05/2008
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 10

Marker Erected by: State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission.
Date Marker Erected: 1958.
County of Marker: Osage.
Location of Marker: US-63, roadside gravel turnout, ½ mile N. of Westphalia.

Marker Text:

Named for the river on its west border, Osage County was organized, 1841. A seat of justice was centrally located the next year and named Linnville, later Linn, for Lewis F. Linn, Missouri's "Model Senator." J.W. Robinson gave land for the site.

The Osage County area was first settled by French Canadians around 1805 before the Osage (French name for Wazhazhe Indians) ceded claims to the region, 1808. Their settlement, French Village, was near the confluence of the Osage and Missouri Rivers. American pioneers were in Osage County by 1820 and the 1830's and 1840's brought a large German immigration.

Westphalia, on a hill above Maries Creek, was founded by Westphalians, 1835. First German settlement in the country, it was partially laid out, 1838, by Father Helias, Jesuit missionary to central Missouri, who had headquarters there for a time. The St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Westphalia was built, 1848. Two more German settlements were made in the county by 1845; one at Rich Fountain by Bavarians, another at Loose Creek by Rhinelanders.

Osage County, with fine valley farms, impressive Roman Catholic Churches, high wooded bluffs, lies in the Ozark foothills. Encompassing the rugged plateau between Osage and Gasconade rivers, the county is a grain, poultry, and dairy farming area with timber, clay, and limestone resources.

By 1855 the Pacific Railroad (Mo.Pac.) ran along the Missouri in northern Osage County. Along the route is Bonnots Mill (first called Dauphine), laid out by Felix Bonnot, 1852, near the site of old French Village. Also on the route is Chamois, first settled 1818. Named by Morgan Harbor, it was laid out by J.M. Shobe, 1856. Other towns founded in mid-1800's are Cooper Hill, Hope, and Koeltztown. On the Chicago, Rock Is., & Pac., built in 1904 in south Osage County, are Freeburg, Argyle, and Meta. Folk and Freedom date from late 1800's.

History of German Catholic settlement in the county is told in manuscripts of Father Helias in Archives of Saint Louis Archdiocese. Nicholas Hesse, who lived in Westphalia, 1835-37, wrote of the pioneer period in his book "Western North America."

Web link: Not listed

History of Mark: Not listed

Additional point: Not Listed

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