The Missouri State Penitentiary, located in Jefferson City, was once the oldest operating prison west of the Mississippi River. It opened in 1836 and closed in 2004.
Carroll County, Missouri, has a rich and fascinating history that spans over two centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage and Shawnee, who were later displaced by European settlers. The first permanent settlement in the county was established in 1817 by Colonel Amos Durkee and his family.

By the mid-19th century, Carroll County had become a bustling hub of activity due to its location on the Missouri River. It was a crucial stop on the route to Santa Fe and California during the California Gold Rush. This led to the growth of towns like Carrollton, the county seat, which was incorporated in 1834. The county also became known for its agricultural productivity, particularly in the production of hemp and tobacco.

Carroll County played an important role during the American Civil War. Located in a border state, the county was divided between Union and Confederate sympathizers. The Battle of Glasgow in 1864 was a significant event, where a Confederate victory resulted in the town being burned to the ground. The aftermath of the war brought a period of reconstruction and rebuilding to the county.

In the 20th century, Carroll County experienced both the highs and lows of economic development. The construction of highways and railroads brought increased commerce and prosperity, but the Great Depression in the 1930s hit the county hard. Today, Carroll County remains an agricultural center, known for its farmland and rural charm, while also embracing tourism and preserving its historical sites.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Carroll County, Missouri.

  • Carroll County is formed on January 2, 1833.
  • The first county seat is established in a small log cabin near the present-day town of Carrollton in 1833.
  • The county seat is moved to a more central location and named DeWitt in 1834.
  • DeWitt becomes a major trading post on the Missouri River.
  • The town of Carrollton is laid out and becomes the new county seat in 1835.
  • Carrollton experiences rapid growth and becomes a center for trade and agriculture.
  • Carroll County suffers from border conflict during the American Civil War in the 1860s.
  • The county experiences economic development with the construction of railroads in the late 1800s.
  • Carroll County sees a decline in population and economic activity in the early 1900s.
  • The construction of Mark Twain Dam and Reservoir in the 1960s brings tourism and recreation to the area.
  • Today, Carroll County continues to be mainly rural with farming as an important industry.