top of page


In May, 1846, a call was made for one company from Cooper County to join troops already in Mexico. Sixty-one men volunteered. The company was organized and assembled in Boonville, where they were trained in military duty by their Captain, John C. Stephens. They departed May 28, 1846, on the steamer L. F. Linn, for St. Louis, where they were to be armed and equipped. When they arrived in St. Louis, they were ordered to report to Jefferson City. When they got to Jefferson City, they were told to be in readiness and were then allowed to return home. Even though they never saw any battle, the volunteers were welcomed home by large, cheering crowds. The 1865 Missouri Constitution bans the practice of slavery.

Missouri was still very much a divided state over the issue of slavery at the end of the Civil War. Many citizens, including Radical Republicans led by Charles Drake, fiercely opposed the institution of slavery and pushed for a new constitution. Among the amendments were the emancipation of slaves and determining voting privileges for loyal citizens to the Union. The ordinance introduced at the constitution convention in St. Louis to abolish slavery in the state passed overwhelmingly with only four delegates voting against it. Missouri’s document that made slavery unlawful came three weeks before the U.S. Congress proposed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which banned slavery in the country. The loyalty oath, which also was adopted by the 1865 Missouri Constitution would exclude all but pro-Unionists from public life, including the fields of teaching, law and politics, also went into effect until the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Missouri’s loyalty oath two years later.

Daniel Boone Camp No 42

"In the Name and by Authority of the United Spanish War Veterans …"


These are the first words on a Charter that hangs on the northwest wall of the first floor lobby of the Cooper County Courthouse. 


Americans have fought in many wars since winning their independence in the Revolutionary War in 1775-1783. The War Between the States (or the American Civil War as many call it), World War I, and World War II are the ones that most often come to mind. But there have been others. The Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, and the China Relief Expedition are three others. 


Like veterans of other wars before and since, veterans of the Spanish American War, which officially ended in early 1899, formed organizations to keep in touch with those they fought with, and to remember those who didn't come home. 


The three largest of these organizations (the Spanish War Veterans, the Spanish-American War Veterans, and the Servicemen of the Spanish War) merged in 1904, becoming the United Spanish War Veterans. By 1906, all the other organizations had merged with them as well. 


Although the organization existed primarily in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, there were other "camps" across the country. On May 20, 1928, the Daniel Boone Camp No. 42 in Boonville, Missouri, was chartered by the United Spanish War Veterans. Signed in the organization's national headquarters in Washington, D.C., on June 28, 1928, there were 20 members at the time Camp No. 42 was created and each veteran's name is written on the charter. 


The United Spanish War Veterans ceased to exist in 1992 with the death of its last surviving member, Nathan E. Cook. Often referred to as a Spanish-American War veteran, Cook, was actually a veteran of the Philippine Insurrection. He had lied about his age and enlisted at the age of 16. Cook died just before his 107th birthday at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. 

bottom of page