Manuscript Collection

Cooper County Collection Descriptions

Cooper County was organized in 1818. The county seat is Boonville. The collections listed below deal in some manner with Cooper County. This list is not comprehensive, so be sure to browse collection descriptions by subject.

*Collections marked with DIGITIZED MATERIALS have additional digitized items available.

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A.B. Hirsch Drug Store, Boonville, Missouri, Records, 1904-1963, n.d., (C4032)
3.4 linear feet
The collection contains a sampling of prescription records from the A.B. Hirsch Drug Store located in Boonville, Missouri. Also included are papers pertaining to Vico Salve, which was developed and sold by Asbury B. Hirsch.

Ashley, William Henry, Letter, 1837, (C2541)
1 folder
The papers contain a letter concerning the purchase of a residence in Virginia for Ashley's sister and purchase by Chouteau and Ashley of land between Arrow Rock and Boonville, Missouri.


Baker, J.H.P. ( -1913), Civil War Diary, 1864-1865, (C1449)
1 volume
The diary of J.H.P. Baker, dated October 16, 1864-June 17, 1865, discusses the war in Missouri, Price's retreat, the Southern cause, Lee, Johnston, Beauregard, Price, Shelby, Sherman, guerrillas, Lee's surrender, Lincoln's assassination, and Johnson's inauguration. Baker, a doctor with General Shelby, was in charge of a Texas Confederate hospital.

Barile, Mary, Photograph Collection, (P0878)
4 photographs
Late 19th century studio portraits from Boonville, MO

Bell Family, Papers, 1868-1891, (C2389)
1 folder
The collection contains memorabilia of the J.W. Bell family of Boonville, MO, during the 1800s.

Bell, Charles C., Photograph Collection, (P0657)
14 photographs
Photos of Charles C. Bell of Boonville, the Firmin Desloge family, engravings of notable Missourians, and composite of Missouri National Guard, Veteran Company A, 3rd Infantry.

Bell, Charles, C. (1848-1931), Residence, Architectural Drawings, n.d., (C2397)
1 folder
The papers contain plans, elevations, and sections of a Boonville, Missouri, residence. Architects are C.W. Keiser and Llew Epperson.

Bentley Family Collection, 1818-1980 (C3042)
5 rolls of microfilm
Correspondence of Nancy V. Bentley, Jordan R. Bentley, and J. Marshall Bentley. Reminiscences of Jordan R. Bentley and material pertaining to Bentley and other allied families. Material on the Civil War in Chariton, Howard, and Cooper Counties, family and social life in the 1880s and 1890s and Chariton County history.

Blackstone, R. D., Papers, 1857-1858, (C1462)
1 folder
The papers contain invoices of household goods purchased by Blackstone from J.T. Johnson and Company and from Orrick, Brent, and Thompson, both Boonville, Missouri, firms.

Boonville Women's Club, Oral History Project, Collection, 2007-2008, (CA6351), (CA6351)
1 folder, 20 audio cassettes, 20 CDs
The collection consists of oral history interviews conducted by Meredith Ludwig for the Boonville Women's Club. Ludwig compiled many of the interviews into a 2008 readers' theatre production, "Women's Words: Memories of Boonslick," and supporting material relating to the stage production is included.

Breckenridge, William Clark (1862-1927), Papers, 1752-1927, (C1036)
4.75 linear feet, 21 volumes, 3 rolls of microfilm
The papers of the St. Louis businessman, writer, and historian contain correspondence, scrapbooks, book sale announcements, and miscellaneous materials, with an emphasis on St. Louis and Missouri history.

Brouster, George Washington, (1830-1887), Letters, 1850-1851, (C1832)
1 folder
Letters written by Brouster to his family in St. Louis County, MO, while on an overland trip to the California gold fields in 1850 and while mining for gold in various parts of California.


Certain, Mrs. Henry, Collection, (P0526)
1 folder
Postcards of Cooper County schools, including Kemper Military School, and Kansas City. Photographic postcard of Conley & Myers Bank, Columbia. Photo of the Parade of Masons in Carthage.

Chase, George W., Letters, 1841-1843 (C0260)
1 folder
Business letters and letter from Boonville mentioning completion of survey and social life.

Chilton, Octavia Blackwell, Letter, 1842, (C2059)
1 folder
To Betsey Blackwell, Warrenton, VA, from Boonville, MO, Nov. 3, 1842. Letter to mother giving family news and greetings and discussing merits of life in Missouri.

Civil War Letter, 1862, (C1835)
1 folder
To his wife from "Thomas" Nov. 14, 1862. Discusses guerrilla activities, bushwhacking, and the possibility of enlisting in the Missouri Militia, as well as family affairs and future prospects.

Civil War Scrapbook, Missouri, 1823-1868, (C1379)
1 folder
The papers contain a collection of newspaper clippings on Missouri, 1823-1868, from New York and Boston newspapers, primarily the New York Daily Tribune. Most of the items pertain to the Civil War in Missouri, 1861-1862, and include maps and diagrams of the war in the west.

Cochran-Jeffress Family, Papers, (CA6348)
0.1 cubic feet
Family genealogy of the Cochran-Jeffress family of Cooper County, Missouri. Included are pages from the Jeffress family Bible and Cochran family photographs.

Cox, Mrs. William P., Collection, (P0528)
5 postcards
Postcards of Odessa Public School ca. 1908, Warrensburg Mo ca 1911, and Excelsior Springs. Photo of girls who attended school in Warrensburg in 1888.


Guitar, Sarah (1892-1963), Collection, n.d., (C3391)
1.5 linear feet
Card file compiled by Sarah Guitar, reference librarian of the State Historical Society of Missouri, as a guide to county boundaries of Missouri, 1812-1929; Missouri congressional district boundaries, 1845-1933; Missouri senatorial districts, 1820-1931; and Missouri judicial circuits, 1815-1915.

Guitar, Sarah (1892-1963), Papers, 1931-1944, (C3563)
1.2 linear feet
Correspondence and miscellaneous information on Missouri compiled by Guitar during her employment, under the direction of Floyd C. Shoemaker, as Reference Librarian for the State Historical Society of Missouri. Includes one card box of reference notes.


Hedlund, Dr. Laurence, Photographs, (P0510)
18 photographs
Photos of Boone, Cole, Cooper, and Osage counties, ca. 1975.

Henderson, William B., Letters, 1900-1912, (C1765)
1 folder
The papers contain correspondence, bills and papers of Judge William B. Henderson, Cooper County and Columbia, Missouri.

Hoagland, Dan B., Photographs, (P0150)
0.58 linear feet
580+ photos of mid-Missouri towns, including many small and abandoned locales, and Boone County churches, ca. 1983.

Holmes, Patricia, Photograph Collection, (P0371)
1 folder
Photographs of Sam Brown, hung in Greenville, MO in the early 1900s; High Street, Miami, MO; Helen steam ferry on Missouri River; University of Missouri Arts & Sciences faculty (1948-1949), Redding-Hill House, and Cooper county historic houses and markers.

How, Russell A. (1906-1996) and Bernadine M. (1910-2001), Collection, 1927-1989, (C4023)
5 linear feet, 4 card files
The Russell and Bernadine How collection contains photographs, maps, printed materials, and notes on grist mills in the Ozarks region of Missouri and Arkansas. The collection also includes materials related to Missouri tourism.


James, David A. (1937- ) Papers, 1790-2008, (C4126)
5 cubic feet
The research material of a hotel management instructor whose work resulted in the publication Historic Hotels of Missouri: Hotels, Inns, and Taverns of 19th Century Missouri.

Jolly, James G., "Jesse James Paid in Gold," n.d., (C3088)
1 folder(s)
Account of the night of the Missouri Pacific mail train robbery, 7 July 1876, when Jesse James forced postmaster Charlie Steinbach and his family in Florence, MO, to feed and lodge his gang, then paid them $90.00 in gold.


Keeton, Henry R., (1812-1890?), Memoir, 1880, (C2684)
1 folder
Recounts his religious experiences and association with Methodist churches of Audrain County, and Mexico, MO. Describes Civil War split in church.

Kingsbury, Lilburn A. (1884-1983), Collection, 1816-1983, (C3724)
9.2 linear feet; 16 oversize volumes, 6 card files
The personal papers and collected materials of Lilburn A. Kingsbury of Howard County, Missouri. Kingsbury was an insurance agent, farmer, orchardist, bank clerk, local historian, writer, genealogist, musician, and antique collector.


Laurie, Joseph N., Collection, 1837-1862, (C2663)
3 volumes
Saline County treasurer's book, 1848; Laurie's store accounts from Boonville, MO, 1837-1838; Saline County probate court records, 1858-1862.


McDaniel Family Diaries, 1836-1843, (C2628)
1 folder
Reuben E. McDaniel diary of a trip from Virginia to St. Louis, MO, 1836. Delia Richerson McDaniel diary of a trip from Caroline County, VA, to Boonville, MO, 1841. Also her diary of a trip from Boonville to Virginia in 1843.

Missouri Central Railroad Company, Resolutions, 1869, (C1718)
1 folder
Resolutions to dissolve the Missouri Central Railroad Company, adopted by the stockholders. Company organized to build a railroad from Boonville to Arrow Rock. Cooper and Saline Counties and Arrow Rock failed to cooperate.

Missouri Ex-POWs Oral History Project, Records, 2000-, (C3975)
Interviews with ex-prisoners of war (POWs). The records include audio cassettes and transcripts.

Missouri Extension Homemakers Association, Inc., Sacred Stones & Stained Glass Windows, Project, (C3723)
7.1 linear feet
Statewide documentation of local churches by county. Includes cultural arts reports, church histories, floor plans, architectural details, clippings, slides, photographs, and miscellany.

Missouri Extension Homemakers Association, Sharing Rich Lives, Records, (CA5320)
1 linear feet
Addition of records from the Jefferson Community Club of Cooper County. Includes annual records, minutes, scrapbooks and related materials from 1929-1993.

Missouri Place Names Study, 1927-1928 (C3459)
0.6 linear feet
Correspondence, term papers, and information collected by graduate students at the University of Missouri during a study of the origin and history of place names in forty-two Missouri counties.

Missouri, Boonville. Scrip, 1842, (C1479)
1 folder
The collection consists blank scrip issued by the city. One sheet containing two one-dollar certificates, one two-dollar certificate, and one three-dollar certificate.

Missouri, Cooper County, Assessment Lists, 1859, (C1376)
4 volumes
The records contain assessment lists for districts no. 1, 4, 5, and 6.

Missouri, Cooper County. Circuit Court Records, 1876-1884, (C1564)
1 folder
Indictments and endorsements against Frank and Jesse James, Charles Pitts, and Cole and Robert Younger for robbery and obstructing the railroad, Cooper County Circuit Court, November term, 1876. Warrants for Frank James' arrest, April 2, 1884. Petition for writ of habeas corpus and bonds, April 28, 1884.

Missouri, Cooper County, Papers, 1837-1983 (C3051)
History of Cooper County, its churches and cemeteries, schools, domestic architecture, miscellaneous buildings, and architectural structures; material on Cooper County and Howard County individuals and families; maps; clippings; and photographs.

Missouri, Cooper County. Tax Book, 1835, (C1211)
1 volume
Resident tax book of Cooper County, MO. Jno. H. Hutchison, collector; Robert P. Clark, clerk, county court.

Missouri, General Assembly, 10th Board of Commissioners to Select a Site for the University, Minutes, 1839, (C1658)
1 folder
Minutes, 6 May-22 June 1839. Organization of board, members, examination, description and evaluation of prospective sites: Boonville, Cooper County; Fayette, Howard County; Columbia, Boone County; Fulton, Callaway County; and Jefferson City, Cole County.

Mitchell, Ewing Young, Jr. (1873-1954), Papers, 1840-1949 (C1041)
0.4 linear feet
Papers of a Springfield, Missouri, lawyer active in Democratic Party politics, who served as assistant secretary of commerce in Franklin Roosevelt's first administration. Material concerns family affairs, law practice with emphasis on county indebtedness, Ozark land speculation, and Democratic politics on the state and national levels.

Morrow, Lynn, Collection, 1982-ca. 2010, (R1000)
296 folders, 7 cubic feet
These are the correspondence and research files of a Missouri historian. Topics include history, personages, architecture, culture, and folklore, particularly of the Ozarks region of Missouri, but also areas in the central and northern parts of the state. The papers include wide-ranging correspondence concerning research into and publication of the 19th century historical writings of Theodore P. Russell of Iron County and Silas C. Turnbo of southwest Missouri. The collection also includes a large selection of promotional publications and ephemera associated with late 20th century tourism in Missouri and Arkansas.


Pigott, H. H., Scrapbooks, n.d., (C2476)
2 volumes
The papers contain scrapbooks of newspaper clippings from the 1880s: poems, jokes, stories, and truisms. Vol. 1 is a ledger from a Boonville general store, of which about 25 pages are free of clippings. Vol. 2 seems to be a lawyer's notes on land transferals in the 1860s, mostly without clippings.

Powell, Mrs. Earl, Collection, n.d., (C1845)
2 folders
The collection contains letters, receipts, and army passes from the Civil War, and miscellaneous material, 1853-1896, of the Gregory, Wood, and Haley families of Sullivan County, MO, including letters from California, an obituary of Elijah M. Gregory, pictures and history of Boonville, a description of Locust Street in Boonville about 1840; and undated genealogies of Wood, Gregory, and Haley families.

Prairie Lick Presbyterian Church, Prairie Lick, Missouri, Records, 1885-1901, (C3028)
1 roll of microfilm
The Prairie Lick Presbyterian Church was organized out of the Boonville Presbyterian Church in April 1885 by Reverend W. D. Morton. Members held monthly services at the Grange Hall, which they later purchased and repaired for use as a church. On 29 August 1886, the building was consecrated and William H. Cochran was elected ruling elder.
Records of the church were kept sporadically and contain mostly lists of new members received into the church.

Presbytery of Missouri, Minutes, 1920-1943, (C1353)
0.2 linear feet
The records contain official copies of minutes of the Presbytery of Missouri. Minutes for 1920-1939 are bound; others are in pamphlet form.

Presbytery of Missouri Records, 1817-1920, (C1354)
1.4 linear feet, 6 oversize volumes
The records of the Presbytery of Missouri contain minutes, reports, and other records of an organization composed of ministers and representative elders of Presbyterian churches in Missouri. Volumes 1-6 have been microfilmed. Volume 7 is available onsite. See also collection C1353.


Ramsay Place Names File 1928-1945, (C2366)
12 cubic feet
Card file of origins of Missouri place names, compiled by students of Robert L. Ramsay, University of Missouri professor of English.

Rice, Herbert Francis (1901-1963), Papers, 1944-1963, (C2903)
5 folder(s)
Personal correspondence with friends and business associates, largely concerning the Civil War in Missouri; manuscripts of articles by Rice on various Missouri history subjects; newspaper clippings from the KANSAS CITY TIMES; Rice's obituary; and miscellaneous handbills and programs.

Russell, Thomas T., Letter, 1845, (C1639)
1 folder
The collection contains a letter to John Huey, Huntsville, AL, from Boonville, MO, Oct. 20, 1845. Russell, a young doctor from St. Louis, wrote Huey about moving to Alabama and establishing a medical practice. The letter discusses Russell's education and medical practice in St. Louis.


Smith, Nancy K., Postcard Collection, (P0029)
268 postcards
Postcards, all views of hospitals and clinics and some sanitariums across Missouri.

State Historical Society of Missouri, Typescript Collection, (C0995)
774 items on 14 rolls of microfilm
The State Historical Society of Missouri Typescript Collection consists of typescripts of articles and manuscripts donated over the years to the Historical Society.

Stephens, J.L., et al., Subpoena, 1877, (C1573)
1 folder
The subpoena commands Andrew B. Moore, Thomas Argenbright, Felix Crockett, and J.L. Stephens to appear before T.M. Rice to testify for the plaintiff in the case of Thomas W. Norris against Charles F. Moore, Cooper County Circuit Court, Boonville, MO.

Switzler, William Franklin (1819-1906), Day Book, 1895-1898, (C1270)
1 volume
Day book of newspaper and printing business in Boonville, MO. Also Switzler's personal expenditures.


The Missouri Collection, (C3982)
The Missouri Collection is an artificial collection combining miscellaneous small acquisitions related to Missouri places, individuals, organizations, and events.

Thompson, Lizzie, Letter, 1864, (C2208)
1 folder
To Beverly [Thompson], [Arrow Rock, MO], from Boonville, [MO], Nov. 1, 1864. Horror of war in Missouri, ""a bone of contention."" Fire destroyed a block on Main Street in Boonville. General Price camped in Boonville, stripped town and country of cattle, forage, and staple goods. Best citizens have fled, friends joining both armies. Family information.

[Thurmond], Nic[holas], Letter, 1865, (C2143)
1 folder
Description of Sterling Price's engagement at Boonville, MO, October 6-7, 1864. Price's retreat from Missouri, Oct. 1864. Army camps in Arkansas, the Federals, horror and grandeur of war, news of friends. Thurmond's wounds and his position teaching school on a Choctaw Indian reservation since November 28, 1864.

Todd, Thomas M. (1917-1987), Papers, (CA2795)
1.5 linear feet
Addition of memoirs and family histories. Primarily the Britt, McCutcheon, and Todd families of Boone and Cooper Counties.

Tolson, Fannie Marie (1911-2005), Papers, 1890s-2005, (C1704)
2.3 linear feet, 3 audio cassettes, 2 video cassettes, 1 dvd
Fannie Marie Tolson was the first African-American educator to teach in the desegregated schools of Fayette, Missouri. Her papers include family correspondence and photographs, memorabilia from Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri, teaching aids, documents concerning St. Paul's Methodist Church in Fayette, and recordings of two interviews conducted with Tolson.

Tucker, E.W. (1899-1985), Papers, 1920-1980, (C4000)
1.2 linear feet
The papers of Colonel Eugene W. Tucker, staff member and later executive officer of Kemper Military School. The papers include lecture material, articles, speeches, correspondence, school catalogs, financial reports, and miscellaneous items.


U.S. Census, Cooper County, Missouri, 1850, (C1281)
2 volumes; also available on 1 roll of microfilm
Vol. 1 (Schedule 1) enumeration of free inhabitants giving age, sex, and place of birth. Vol. 2 (Schedule 2-6) slave inhabitants, including age and sex; deaths in previous year, including age, place of birth, cause of death; agricultural production; industries; and social statistics, including schools, churches, libraries, value of real and personal property.

U.S. Work Projects Administration, "Church Bibliography, Baptist Bodies of Missouri, Associational Minutes," 1941, (C1312)
1 volume
The collection contains a list of the various Baptist associations in Missouri and the dates for which their records are in existence.

U.S. Work Projects Administration, Historical Records Survey, Missouri, 1935-1942, (C3551)
302 linear feet; also available on 817 rolls of microfilm
Correspondence, records, and working files. Originally designed to survey and inventory all county government records, the survey finally included inventories of church records, manuscript collections, vital statistics, American imprints, and federal archives. Incorporates records of the Federal Writers Project for Missouri.


Van Ravenswaay, Charles (1911-1990), Collection, 1820-1971, (C2668)
1.2 linear feet
Material relating to the Trigg family of Boonville, MO; the papers of Harvey Bunce, Cooper County civic leader and vice-president of the Tebo and Neosho Railroad; and Charles Van Ravenswaay's correspondence and research notes on various families, institutions, historic sites and events in Cooper and Howard Counties, and miscellaneous material related primarily to Boonville, MO.

van Ravenswaay, Charles (1911-1990), Papers, 1841-1990, (C3873)
21.8 linear feet, 1 audio cassette
Correspondence, research notes, photographs, and literary manuscripts of historian and author Charles van Ravenswaay, former director of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis; Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts; and the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum and Gardens, Wilmington, Delaware.


Williams, Roy D. (1881-1972), Papers, 1853-1972, (C3769)
2 linear feet
Papers of Judge Roy D. Williams of Boonville, Missouri, containing speeches (primarily on local and regional history), historical notes, clippings, correspondence, photographs, and miscellany.

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