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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.
Gentry County is located in the northwest corner of the state of Missouri. It was established on February 14, 1841, and named after Richard Gentry, a soldier who served in the Black Hawk War. The county was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Ioway, Sac, and Fox tribes. The first European-American settlers arrived in the area in the early 1830s.

During the early years, Gentry County played a vital role in agricultural development. The fertile land attracted farmers who cultivated crops such as corn, wheat, and tobacco. The county's economy was largely based on agriculture, and as it expanded, so did its infrastructure. Roads, bridges, and schools were built to serve the growing population.

In the mid-1800s, Gentry County became a transportation hub with the construction of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, which passed through the county seat of Albany. This railroad greatly facilitated trade and commerce, attracting businesses and industries to the area. Gentry County saw rapid growth and development during this time, with an influx of settlers and the establishment of new towns.

Over the years, Gentry County went through various periods of prosperity and challenges. The county faced hardships during the Great Depression and experienced a decline in population. However, it rebounded in the post-WWII era with the growth of manufacturing and service industries. Today, Gentry County continues to be a rural area with a strong agricultural base and a close-knit community. Its history and heritage are preserved through various historical sites and museums that showcase the county's past.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Gentry County, Missouri.

  • 1833 - Gentry County established, named after Richard Gentry, a colonel with the Missouri militia
  • 1845 - Albany becomes the county seat
  • 1847 - First courthouse is built in Albany
  • 1850 - Population reaches 4,454
  • 1861 - Civil War begins, Gentry County residents divided in their allegiances
  • 1864 - Confederate guerrilla leader William Quantrill raids Albany, burning courthouse and much of the town
  • 1871 - Second courthouse is built in Albany
  • 1893 - Population peaks at 13,673
  • 1945 - Albany Carnegie Library opens
  • 1967 - Smithfield becomes a ghost town after construction of Smithville Reservoir floods the area
  • 1996 - Albany Carnegie Library listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • 2010 - Population reaches 6,738