Available on Amazon
Mark Twain, one of America's most beloved authors, was born in Florida, Missouri, in 1835. He later moved to Hannibal, Missouri, where he set many of his famous stories, including "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn".
Livingston County, Missouri has a rich and diverse history that traces back to its establishment in 1837. The county was named after Edward Livingston, who was an influential American statesman and politician. Throughout its history, Livingston County has experienced periods of growth, economic development, and social change.

In the early years, the county was primarily settled by European pioneers who were attracted to its fertile lands and natural resources. Agriculture quickly became the backbone of the local economy, with farming and livestock production being the primary occupations of the early settlers. The county's first courthouse was built in 1840, marking an important milestone in the establishment of local governance.

During the American Civil War, Livingston County witnessed significant upheaval and divided loyalties. Like many other regions in Missouri, the county was torn apart by conflicting ideologies, leading to conflicts and skirmishes between Union and Confederate sympathizers. Despite these challenges, Livingston County managed to recover and rebuild in the post-war years, focusing on expanding its agricultural sectors and embracing new technologies.

In the 20th century, Livingston County experienced further developments and improvements in infrastructure, education, and healthcare. The county played a significant role in the expansion of the Chillicothe Baking Company, which eventually became the renowned Sara Lee Corporation. Additionally, the establishment of Chillicothe Business and Technology Park in the late 1990s fostered economic growth and attracted new industries to the area.

Today, Livingston County continues to thrive as a vibrant community with a diverse economy. It preserves its rich history and agricultural heritage while embracing modern amenities and advancements. The county provides its residents and visitors with opportunities for education, employment, and recreational activities, making it a desirable place to live and work.

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

  • 1833 - Livingston County is established and named after Hon. Edward Livingston, a prominent statesman and jurist.
  • 1837 - The town of Chillicothe becomes the county seat.
  • 1841 - The first courthouse is built in Chillicothe.
  • 1855 - The county's first railroad, the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, is completed.
  • 1861-1865 - Livingston County residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1872 - The second courthouse is constructed and remains in use today.
  • 1914-1918 - County residents serve in World War I.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression impacts Livingston County, leading to economic challenges.
  • 1941-1945 - County residents contribute to the war effort during World War II.
  • 1962 - Construction of the Smithville Lake begins, providing a recreational area for residents.
  • 1978 - The Grand River western Channelization Project is completed, offering flood control measures.
  • 2003 - The Chillicothe Preservation Group is formed to aid in the preservation and revitalization of historic downtown Chillicothe.
  • 2019 - Livingston County celebrates its 186th anniversary since establishment.