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.
Saline County, located in the central part of Missouri, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The area was first inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage and Missouri tribes, who hunted and fished in the region. In 1808, the first permanent settlement was established by European settlers. The county was officially organized in 1820 and named after the nearby salt springs.

During the 19th century, Saline County became an important agricultural hub, with a focus on hemp and tobacco farming. The county's proximity to the Missouri River allowed for easy transportation of goods, contributing to its economic growth. The construction of railroads in the mid-1800s further enhanced the county's accessibility, leading to an increase in trade and industry.

Saline County played a significant role during the American Civil War. In 1861, tensions between Union and Confederate sympathizers escalated, resulting in several skirmishes and battles in the area. Notably, the Battle of Marshall in October 1863 led to Confederate victory and temporary control of the county. The war took a toll on the local economy and infrastructure, but Saline County eventually recovered and resumed its agricultural and industrial activities.

In the 20th century, Saline County continued to thrive. The construction of Highway 65 in the 1920s improved transportation and stimulated commerce in the region. The county also experienced growth in manufacturing, particularly in the production of automotive parts and agricultural equipment. Saline County remains an important agricultural area, with a diverse range of crops, including soybeans, corn, and wheat, as well as livestock farming. Today, the county's rich history is preserved in its historic downtown areas, museums, and landmarks, offering visitors a glimpse into its past.

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

  • 1820 - Saline County is established as a county in the state of Missouri.
  • 1827 - Arrow Rock is designated as the county seat.
  • 1852 - The Missouri River floods, causing extensive damage in Saline County.
  • 1874 - Marshall becomes the new county seat, replacing Arrow Rock.
  • 1899 - The Marshall State Training School opens, providing education and vocational training for children.
  • 1930s - Saline County experiences economic hardship during the Great Depression.
  • 1941-1945 - Many residents from Saline County serve in World War II.
  • 1971 - The Arrow Rock State Historic Site is established, preserving the historical significance of the town.
  • 1993 - The Sweet Springs Historic District is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2019 - Saline County celebrates its bicentennial.