The infamous outlaw Jesse James was born in Clay County, Missouri, in 1847. He later became known for his bank and train robberies and was killed by a member of his own gang in 1882.
Wright County, Missouri, located in the southwestern part of the state, has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage and Delaware, who lived off the fertile land and abundant wildlife.

The county was officially established in 1841 and named after Silas Wright, a former governor of New York. In the mid-1800s, settlers began to arrive, drawn by the opportunity for farming and a better life. The first permanent settlements were established along the Gasconade and Niangua Rivers, which provided crucial transportation routes.

During the Civil War, Wright County faced divided loyalties, with many residents sympathizing with the Confederate cause. The county experienced several skirmishes and raids, with Union and Confederate forces vying for control. In 1862, the Battle of Hartville, a significant Civil War engagement, took place in the county, resulting in victory for the Union forces.

After the war, Wright County continued to develop, with the construction of railways and the establishment of businesses and schools. Agriculture, particularly cattle and dairy farming, became a major industry, supported by the rich soils and ample water sources. The county also saw an influx of immigrants, including German, Scottish, and Irish settlers, who contributed to the cultural fabric of the area.

Today, Wright County is a vibrant community, prized for its natural beauty, including the Mark Twain National Forest and the Gasconade River. The county also boasts a strong agricultural economy, along with a diverse range of industries, such as manufacturing and healthcare. With its historical landmarks and picturesque landscapes, Wright County continues to attract residents and visitors alike, celebrating its past while embracing a bright future.

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

  • 1835 - Wright County established as a county in Missouri.
  • 1830s-1840s - Settlers began to arrive, primarily from Tennessee and Kentucky.
  • 1854 - First post office established in Hartville.
  • 1862 - The Civil War greatly affected the county, with many battles and skirmishes taking place in the area.
  • 1875 - Hartville incorporated as a city.
  • 1883 - Missouri Pacific Railroad reaches Wright County, boosting the local economy.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression brings economic hardship to the county, with many farmers struggling to make a living.
  • 1960s - The construction of Highway 60 improves transportation in the county, opening up new opportunities for growth.
  • 1970 - The Mark Twain National Forest is established, providing recreational opportunities and preserving natural resources.
  • 1990 - The county's population reaches over 15,000 people.
  • 2000s - The county experiences a period of relatively steady growth, with new businesses and housing developments being established.