Moments in Time
of Pulaski County Missouri with Mike Weber
Hi, My name is Mike Weber. My wife Paula and I have lived in Pulaski County, Missouri all our lives. As I began our search many months ago for our ancestors, I soon discovered that we were related to many of the Pioneers of Pulaski County. As my research continued I was amazed how so many of the pioneer families inter-married into many of the same families, and now have became one large family.
I began to compile information to put into various books, pertaining to our ancestors. I soon discovered that many of these books contained the same people. So I decided to start a project, in which I would begin writing a series of books titled, " The Pioneer Families of Pulaski County, Missouri."
I have presently completed several volumes of the Pioneer Families of Pulaski County, MO. There are fifteen volumes completed, which include the names of some 50,000 Pioneers and their family members and approx eighteen more to go. The books I have available are listed on another page. It is my hope that as I continue to publish these books, that it will help, not only the families of Pulaski County Pioneers, but anyone that may have ties to Pulaski County, Missouri. Please join me as I take you back through "Moments in Time."
Here in Missouri's central Ozarks, Pulaski County was organized in 1833, and was named for Revolutionary War General, Polish Count Casimir Pulaski. Once roamed by Indians and French trappers, the county is part of land ceded by the Osage Indians in 1808. Southern pioneers were early settlers, attracted by fine springs, wooded hills, honeycombed by caves, and the Gasconade and Big Piney Rivers.
The first settlement in the territory
now embraced in Pulaski County was made by three men, Johnson, Cullen,
and Dulle. They immigrated from Mississippi with their families and located
near the Gasconade River, at the noted "Nitre Cave', which was about five
miles west of Waynesville. After they discovered a superior quality saltpeter
there, they commenced to manufacture gun powder, for which they quickly
found a ready market among the trappers and hunters of the area.
One morning during the year of 1817, Mr. Cullen started out with a load of gun powder, loaded on his wagon. He was never heard from again. It was never known whether he was ambushed by hostile Indians, or what, because there was never a trace of him or his wagon found. Being concerned for their safety, Mr. Johnson and Dulle, decided to pull up camp and move to another part of the county, up river from where they were located. They found a large spring running into the Gasconade River, about 2 miles up river from where Waynesville later was located. Here they built a large mill, used to grind wheat and other grains. This mill was later sold to Solomon Bartlett, my great great uncle, and it was named the Bartlett Springs Mill.
Also during 1817, James Ballew, William Gillapsy, and Henry Anderson, of North Carolina, accompanied by their families, settled on the Gasconade River about twelve miles southwest of the site of Waynesville, near the Laclede County line. Josiah Turpin, of Kentucky, also located there the same year. Soon after, Elijah and Elisha Christeson settled on the land in the vicinity of the site where Waynesville is now located. Cyrus Colley, settled in a "hollow", which was later named after him. Later that year, Jeptha West, Jesse A. Rayl, Sr. and Thomas Starke settled near the Christesons.
The Territorial Legislature, December 15, 1818, created a county, to be named Pulaski, in honor of Count Pulaski. Its boundaries were never specifically defined though it included much of the territory that two years later became Gasconade County. In 1859, the boundaries of Pulaski County were defined as they are now. The first county court met at the home of Jesse Ballew. In 1843, the Legislature passed an act to locate the county seat, which was Waynesville. Josiah Christeson and William Moore donated the land, which is now where Waynesville is located. Early in 1844, a crude courthouse was built. It was used until 1873, despite being damaged during the Civil War, when a brick courthouse was built.
Waynesville, in the scenic Roubidoux Creek Valley, was named for the Revolutionary War General, "Mad" Anthony Wayne. The town was a stage stop on the "St. Louis to Springfield Road." This road was also called the "Old Wire Road," because it was the same route the telegraph line traveled, strung by the Union Army. The Cherokee Indians also camped here on their 1837, "Trail of Tears" as they were removed to Oklahoma. During the Civil War, the Confederate flag was raised at the courthouse in the spring of 1861, however in June of 1862, the Union Army, under the command of Col. Albert Sigel, built a fort overlooking the Waynesville Courthouse.
The small garrison of troops were responsible for protection of the settlers and wagon trains on their way westward. The first railroad to be started in Pulaski County was surveyed by the Southern Pacific in 1861. It run through south central Pulaski County, but was abandoned because of rough terrain. Another route was later surveyed and the route of the present railroad was complete in 1869. This railroad opened up a new way of life for Pulaski Countians. The towns of Dixon, Hancock, Crocker, Swedeborg and Richland, came into existence.
The California House, built ca 1856 and operated by Bennett and Sarah Musgrave The Civil War brought about fierce division among people of Pulaski County. Neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother and even members of the same household disagreed. In 1861, the Confederate flag flew above the court yard. In May 1861, the Union soldiers came to town, and on June 7, 1862 the flag bearing the stars and bars were cut down. The end of the Civil War found our county in chaos. Bushwackers were running rampant.
Prejudices and hatred was laid aside and reconstruction began. After the Civil War, immigrants began to come to this part of the state, and most of those that settled were from Southeast Kentucky, Tennessee, and east and West Virginia. Some of the pioneer families settling in Pulaski County during that time were Rayl, Routh, Brittain, Colley, Tilley, Bartlett, Morgan, Mitchell, Christeson, York, Hammock, Layman, Laughlin, Turpin, Dodd, Trower, Storie, Bailey, and many more.
As the years passed many small
communities sprung up all over the county. These communities were mainly
made up of various families, that many times were the only neighbors for
miles. The community of Big Piney, located at the southern edge of the
county, was made up families by the name of Dye, Page, Welch, and others.
Just north and west of Big Piney, a couple other small communities were
started, Bloodland, and Tribune. Bloodland had the Laughlins, Yorks, Longs,
Woods, and others. Tribune was a post office that served the communities,
and was run by the Bailey family.During the time when the railroad
was being built, many of the farmers cut ties between the crop season,
and that was mainly the source of income for many families. They were bought
on sight by the tie buyers, and many times floated to an assembly point
on the river, at Jerome, where they were loaded on railroad cars. On November
14, 1940, an announcement was made, that changed the lifestyle of Pulaski
The United States government announced that they would be building a military base in Pulaski County. As the Army acquired control over the proposed 65,000 acres, several small communities such as Bloodland, and Cookville were phased out of existence. The families settling in the small communities located on the land purchased, soon moved and relocated to other parts of the county. Now the only trace of the families on the original homesteads is the family cemeteries, that have been proctected by the goverment. Construction began soon thereafter and it was estimated that it would take some 15,000 construction workers to build the camp. The post was named Ft. Leonard Wood, and since now has become the largest engineer training center in United States. Pulaski County as we know it today, is a triving,growing community of people from all over the world.
The small communities of Bloodland, Moab, Bellefonte, Cookville, Pleasant Hope are long gone. However, the towns of Crocker, Richland, Dixon, Swedeborg, Devils Elbow, Hancock, St. Robert, and Waynesville, still continue to grow and prosper. In the last 150 years Pulaski County, has seen many changes and as we get ready to start a new century, we look forward to the future, however we never want to forget the ancestors that have brought us through, "Moments in Time."
You may find some of the pages aren't working - someone got into our files and deleted them. We are working as quickly as possible to get them back online. We do appreciate your patience!!
|Laclede County Genweb|
|Pulaski County Genweb||Pioneers of Pulaski County|
|Pioneer Crafts of Pulaski County||Waynesville of Yesteryear|
|The Early Days of Crocker, MO||Horse and Buggy Days of Dixon, MO|
|Years Ago in Richland, MO||Maps of Pulaski County|
|Books from Moments In Time||Pioneer Schools of Pulaski County|
|Pioneer Cemeteries of Pulaski County||My Family Page|
|Our German Heritage||Paula's Family Page|
|My Biography Page||And Now The Rest of The Story|
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