The Congressman from Pennsylvania turned U.S. Secretary of the Treasury helped the U.S. to end ransom payments to Mediterranean pirate states and reduced national debt even while the Louisiana and Flordia purchases were made. (information from the Daviess County Historical Society)
Gallatin takes its name from one of the early financial giants in American history. Born in Switzerland, his full name was Abraham Alphonse Albert Gallatini. As U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in 1801, Albert Gallatin inherited a national debt of over $82 million when annual receipts to the federal treasury totaled about $10.6 million. He encouraged the Jefferson Administration to stop paying tribute and ransom to Mediterranean pirate states.
His prudent public service helped reduce the federal debt by nearly half by 1810, even as the Louisiana and Florida purchases were made. Albert Gallatin, a congressman from Pennsylvania, is the only man ever to serve in the treasury post under two presidents. His statue stands before the entrance of the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C. His farm at Friendship Hill, PA, became a national park with local officials from here participating in the opening ceremones held there in 1992.
First settled in 1837, Gallatin was incorporated as a town in 1858. It developed into an important trade center after 1871 when the first of two railroads pushed through the area. Gallatin commanded statewide attention as members of the Mormon church organized stakes nearby. Differences eventually erupted into the “Mormon War” which unfolded near here. Gallatin was first thrust into the national spotlight as law and order began to prevail over the Wild West. The trial of outlaw Frank James was held here in 1883. Agriculture drives this community’s engine. Pride in traditional Midwestern values has helped Gallatin produce a governor of Missouri, a U.S. Secretary of Commerce and federal judge, a pioneering female scientist, a bestselling novelist, and a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy among others.