COMMUNITIES THAT NEVER HAD TRAINS
Bellair was an unincorporated community on Route 5, approximately 10 miles south-southwest of Boonville. It was founded in the 1840's by T.P. Bell and was named for him. A post office called Bellair was established in 1864, and was closed in 1906. At one time Bellaire was a busy, thriving town with a school, a lovely Methodist Church (which is still standing), and many small businesses. It is the home of the historic “Ravenswood” mansion owned by the Leonard family.
Browntown was a community on Mr. Brown’s property and the only residents were Black families. Nothing is visible there today.
Buffalo Prairie has some Indian mounds, fertile ground and once was a home to many buffalo. The remains of the buffalo wallows can still be seen today. An early settler, in the 1860's, was Dr. William Harriman who built a home for his family where he practiced medicine and lived the rest of his life. At one time the small town had a post office and a school and was noted for its agricultural products.
CHOUTEAU SPRINGS or Sulphur Springs
This area near Pilot Grove was a busy mineral bath and resort that operated on and off from the 1840's until 1962, when it closed. The 40 acres of land includes three Sulphur, and two clear water springs. It was part of a grant of over 28,000 acres made to Pierre Chouteau in 1792 by the Osage Indians. The resort was opened in 1846. Much of the resort was destroyed during the Civil War. After the War was over, people sold the spring water to make money on the supposed health properties from the mineral springs. After the railroad came to the area in 1873, people could take the train to Chouteau, get off the train at St. Martin's and take a "hack" to the hotel and resort. In 1900 the park was purchased by Eugene Windsor, who added new cottages, a swimming pool and other improvements. This was a very popular resort until the 1950's when it became badly in need of repair and was closed to the pubic in 1962. The springs still continue to flow to this day.
Clear Creek is named after the clear water that runs through the area. The land in this area is believed to be some of the most productive in the County. It is located within walking distance of Pilot Grove. Philip Meisenheimer ran an early general store and his wife had a variety store. Theodore Twenter made wooden coffins for local people. A church was built on land donated by Lawrence Sommers. In 1884 another church was built in the same area. Bertram Felten, the first teacher in the area, taught school in the log cabin of Father Mears. In 1893, a frame school building was built. The next school was completed in 1918. Today only a few homes and a church remain.
Jolly's Bottom was settled in 1812 by Joseph Jolly. He started the first apple orchard in the County and built a horse-mill that would grind a bushel of corn in one hour. He was a gunsmith, wheelwright, cooper, miller, distiller, preacher, doctor and farmer. He served in the War of 1812 and made gunpowder for the settlers. He had a ferry crossing the Lamine River bottoms, and later one that crossed the Missouri River. He weighed about 450 pounds but was known as a “jolly” man.
Overton is opposite Rocheport on the Missouri River. After the loss of the steamboat trade in the 1880’s and 90’s, the town moved to its present location near the base of the bluffs near the railroad tracks. It is named after the Overton family who operated an early ferry there. Overton was eventually flooded by the Missouri River and is now a wildlife preserve.
Prairie Home started as a small store on the prairie on the stage coach line from Boonville to Jefferson City. A town was formed around it and it is still a busy little community.
NOTE: There were many very small settlements that existed for a short time, but later died out. Their names will be found on the list of towns that had a post office for a very short time, or a list of towns that NEVER had a post office. Information about these towns seems to be nonexistent except for their names.