About Us

The Daviess County Historical Society is a not-for-profit 501c organization with volunteers working to research, preserve and present local history particularly relevant to Daviess County, Missouri. There are no membership dues. Anyone interested is invited to attend and participate in monthly meetings.

Those currently serving as officers of the organization are as follows:

  • President — Trudi Burton
  • Vice President —
  • Secretary —
  • Treasurer —

The Daviess County Historical Society organized as a result of the Missouri State Library Association’s request for all county librarians to initiate a historical society in each county. A constitution establishing Daviess County’s society was adopted on March 22, 1973, with Loren Hamilton elected president. Volunteers serving in this organization have completed many projects over the years. These include tape recordings of early county history by elderly local citizens, certification of farms where continuous ownership within a family spans 100 years or more, assisting with the cataloging of county cemeteries, transporting county newspapers to and from the State Historical Society, assembling information about ghost towns within Daviess County, and more. In addition, various programs and presentations were given by society volunteers at civic meetings over the years.

The last publication produced by Society members was “Daviess County History,” a 580-page hardback book published in 1985 (printed by Walsworth Publishing Company of Marceline, MO). Information and photographs presented in this book is organized by townships, family histories, memorials and businesses. This book reflects the work of many contributors. Board members serving at the time of book publication included Eddie Binney, Don Tolen, Imogene Southers, David Stark, Dorothy Dale, Harry Rice, Tom Gallagher, Lela Rose Hartpence, and Norma Griffin. A copy of this book can be viewed at the Daviess County Library in Gallatin, MO.

Other significant sources of information focusing on or including Daviess County, MO, are as follows:

  • “History of Daviess County 1882” — illustrated; published by Birdsell & Dean, Kansas City, MO
  • “History of Daviess and Gentry Counties, Missouri” — illustrated, 1922
  • “Early Days on Grand River and the Mormon War” by R.J. Britton
  • “Memories” by R.J. Britton, published 1904 by the North Missourian Press, Gallatin, MO
  • “Recollections 1844-1909” by Henry Clay McDougal, published 1910 by Franklin Hudson Publishing Company, Kansas City, MO
  • “A History of Northwest Missouri” — Volume III edited by Walter Williams, published 1915 by the Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago-New York
  • “125 Years with the Gallatin North Missourian” — illustrated, by Darryl Wilkinson, published 1990 by Lakeland Publications

Today the Daviess County Historical Society manages and operates the antique 1889 Squirrel Cage Jail, located in Gallatin, MO, as a visitors’ center on behalf of Daviess County. The rotary jail is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The rotary jail was renovated during the 1990s while Dan Lockridge served as president of the Historical Society. The antique building is owned by the county. Funding for maintenance and public hours is by donation and interest collected from a gift endowment from the Roosevelt Estate.

This website was created and developed by Darryl Wilkinson, retired publisher and editor of the Gallatin North Missourian. Work continues, adding local history of note from the newspaper during its last 40 years of publication onto this website.

Your photographs and history submissions are welcome. Please contact a board member of the Daviess County Historical Society for more details.