Pattonsburg, Benton Township, Daviess County, Missouri

The town is situated on the bottom lands on the bank of Sampson Creek, in a place called “Elm Flats” from the number of elms growing upon it. The old town of Pattonsburg was located about one and a half miles north of the present location, and went by that name since 1845. Matthew Patton built the first water-mill in the township, just on the edge of town, on Big Creek, and from being called Patton’s Mill, it became changed to Pattonsburg as the name of the settlement. The location of the town was up on a rolling eminence, with a very rich farming country around it.

The Chillicothe & Omaha Railroad was completed to Big Creek, and they established a depot on section twenty-seven, about one and one-quarter miles north of the south line of the township. This was done to destroy the old town and for the railroad company to speculate upon its losses. The business men, of course, were compelled to move, and the rest followed, and old Pattonsburg is a thing of the past. The name of the post-office is Elm Flat, but the people brought the name of the town with them when they moved, and it will never be known by any other name. The town commenced to grow quite rapidly. The location was against it because it is. low and flat, and many of the business men kept their families at the old town until the new could be put in shape to live in. There are but few towns of its size in the. State that does the amount of business. In lumber, staves and heading, it has a very heavy trade, and the factories are turning out large numbers of these articles.

Watson’s flouring mill has four run of stone, two for flour exclusively and two for custom grinding. The shipment of flour by rail for the month of September amounted to a little over $1,600, this, besides the home or local trade, which combined, reaches some $30,000 annually. Mr. Watson is also the owner of a saw-mill, and he shipped, as his books show, over 245,000 feet of lumber last year.

The stave and heading factories ship to four States besides Missouri. They occupy two acres of ground for their works. The gun-stock factory is also shipping to all points and do a large trade with Chicago. These industries have been growing for years, and are still growing at a rapid rate. More machinery is being added, and the facilities to meet the increased orders will soon be completed.

The town grew steadily but not rapidly. The old town had moved over by 1876, and the country people around began to concentrate their trade at the new town. This gave it a substantial backing, as the next and nearest trading points were McFalls, seven miles northwest, and Jameson nine miles southeast. The talk of having the town incorporated took shape in 1877.

It had grown to a place of about 250 inhabitants, its business was increasing, and the next move was for an incorporated village. The town was incorporated under the name of Elm Flat, but notwithstanding that, it is still and only known as Pattonsburg.

Incorporation of Pattonsburg

Elm Flat was first incorporated August 7, 1877, but upon a reexamination of its metes and bounds an error was found in the description, and it was again brought before the County Court for correction. The court made void the first article of incorporation, and then passed a new order September 10, 1877, and the article of incorporation, as amended, reads as follows:

“Now at this day comes W. G. Weldon and thirty-three other inhabitants of the town of Elm Flat, Daviess county, Missouri, and present their petition to incorporate the town of Elm Flat, which petition is in words and figures following; viz., To the Honorable County Court of Daviess county: The undersigned, your petitioners, and being two-thirds of the taxable inhabitants of the village of Elm Flat, in Daviess county, Missouri, would most respectfully petition your honorable body to declare the village herein named incorporated, by virtue of the power vested in you by the act of the legislature, approved February 8, 1871, and that a police be established for their local self-government, and that the metes and boundaries of said village are as follows; to-wit, Commencing at the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section number twenty-six, township sixty-one, range twenty-nine; thence south on the section line between sections twenty-six, twenty-seven and thirty-four and thirty-five, to the southwest corner of the northwest quarter of section thirty-five, township sixty-one and range twenty-nine; thence east to the southeast ‘ corner of the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section thirty-five, township sixty-one, range twenty-nine; thence north to Big Creek; thence up the said. Big Creek to where the south line of the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section twenty-six, township sixty-one, range twenty-nine, crosses said creek, thence west on said line to the place of beginning, including the north half of the northwest quarter of section thirty-five, and all west of Big Creek of the south half of the southwest quarter of section twenty-six, all in township sixty-one, range twenty-nine. For which your petitioners will ever pray. [Signed:]

“Which petition is received and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that two-thirds of the taxable inhabitants of said town of Elm Flat have signed said petition and that the prayer of said petitioners is reasonable, it is therefore ordered by the court that said town of Elm Flat be and is hereby incorporated, under the name and style of Elm Flat, and the metes and bounds of said town of Elm Flat be and they are hereby fixed, as set forth in the above petition; and all the territory within the above described bounds be, and is hereby declared to be, and belong to said town and the inhabitants of said town of Elm Flat are hereby invested with all the rights and privileges guaranteed to such towns incorporated under chapter forty-one under the general statutes of the State of Missouri; and it is further ordered by the court that W. G. Weldon, John W. Case. bolt, F. E. Venable, Thomas J. Mattingly and E. B. Christie of said town of Elm Flat be and they are hereby appointed the board of trustees in and for said town to hold their offices until their successors are elected and qualified.”

The first mayor was J. W. Casebolt, for two years. He was followed by James W. Rogers, and the latter succeeded by E. B. Christie. Charles E. Hill was elected recorder and attorney and still holds the office. The spring election of 1881 returned the following officers for the present year, or until their successors are qualified: Mayor, E. B. Christie; recorder and attorney, Charles E. Hill; trustees, Elijah Ellis, George W. King, Cyrus Hunt and S. D. Stevens; marshal, Harrison W. Deskins.

The most correct knowledge of the business of Pattonsburg may be gathered from its receipts and shipments by railroad, which are here given.

The first house was built by Thomas Fields. The first postmaster still retains the office, and is E. D. Powell. The population of the town by the census of 1880, is 399, and at this time will reach five hundred.

Back to: Daviess County

2 thoughts on “Pattonsburg, Benton Township, Daviess County, Missouri”

  1. I’m Howard Persinger. I had visited Pattonsburg several years ago and met Ms Creta Gist a very nice lady. My ancestors are from Pattonsburg. Ms Creta took us to her house and showed us a book on McFall. I kept in touch with her for several years. She said she would keep an eye out for a copy of the book for me but never did. If anyone can find one I would gladly pay for it.
    Thanks Howard

    1. Greta died years and years ago. Contact Ed Howard at Pattonsburg Tree Climber’s, as they/he are your best bet. Ed is in charge of the Daviess/Dekalb County Regional Jail in Pattonsburg at the present.

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