National Register Listings in
Dade County, Missouri

The famous Dred Scott case, which helped fuel the tensions that led to the Civil War, originated in Missouri. Dred Scott was a slave who sued for his freedom in the Missouri courts in 1857, but the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled against him.
Dade County, Missouri, located in the southwestern part of the state, has a rich and diverse history that stretches back to the early 19th century. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage and Delaware, who relied on the bountiful land and water resources for their livelihoods. European settlement began in the early 1830s when pioneers started moving into the region.

In 1833, Dade County was officially created and named after Major Francis L. Dade, a military officer who perished in the Second Seminole War. The county's earliest settlers were mainly farmers, attracted to the area's fertile soil and abundant timber resources. The construction of the Osage Valley Railroad in the late 19th century further fueled the county's growth and development, facilitating the transportation of goods and people.

Dade County experienced its share of hardships and challenges over the years. During the American Civil War, it became a battleground as Union and Confederate forces clashed in the area. The county's strategic location along the Missouri-Kansas border made it a contested territory. The Battle of Island Mound, fought in Dade County in 1862, marked one of the first engagements of African American soldiers in the Civil War.

In the 20th century, Dade County, like many rural areas, faced the challenges of modernization and economic shifts. However, agriculture remained a crucial aspect of the county's economy, with dairy farming, livestock production, and poultry farming gaining prominence. Today, Dade County continues to be a vibrant community, known for its friendly residents, agricultural heritage, and beautiful natural surroundings, attracting visitors and new residents alike.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Dade County, Missouri.

  • 1830 - Dade County was officially formed on January 29, 1830, and was named after Major Francis Langhorne Dade.
  • 1834 - The first settlers arrived in the county, primarily of Scotch-Irish and German descent.
  • 1841 - The county seat was established in Greenfield.
  • 1855 - The first post office, called Dadeville, was established.
  • 1861-1865 - During the American Civil War, Dade County was not heavily involved in major battles, but many citizens fought for both the Union and the Confederacy.
  • 1870 - The St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad (Frisco) reached the county, bringing new economic opportunities.
  • 1892 - The county courthouse in Greenfield was destroyed by a fire, leading to the construction of a new courthouse.
  • 1930s-1960s - Dade County experienced a decline in population due to the Great Depression and the mechanization of agriculture.
  • 1986 - The Dade County Fox Trotter became the official state horse of Missouri.
  • 1990s-Present - Dade County has seen a slow but steady population growth, with a focus on agriculture and tourism.