About Carroll County

Courthouse Photo Courtesy of P-Tn Commercial Photography, Overland Park, KS


As early as 1816, Indians of the Sac & Fox tribes were in possession of this territory (of the county seat of Carrollton), but there is no evidence they were ever permanently located here.  A land survey of this area was begun by government surveyors in 1816 and completed the following year. No white settlements were in the county at this time.  The first permanent settlement was made in November 1819.

Carroll County was organized in 1833, and at that time its boundaries extended north to Iowa state line.  Out of the territory came Grundy, Mercer and Livingston Counties. When Livingston County was organized in 1837, Carroll County was reduced to its present size.  Originally the county was to be called Wakenda for the stream of that name which flowed through the county.  However, when it came to the final passage, the news of the death of Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, Maryland, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, was received in Jefferson City.  The proposition was made to call the new county Carroll when the bill passed and was signed by the governor on January 3, 1833.

The Missour River was an imporatnt artery of the development of Carrollton, as were the railroads which were improatnt for its growth.  Like most of the old Missouri towns, the principal business houses are arranged around the “square” in which sits the courthouse.  The present courthouse, built in 1904, cost $45,900.  The cornerstone was placed in position in June 11902, in a ceremony by the Masonic Order – Wakenda Lodge No. 52.  The building was built of Caroll County Sandstone, quaries at Whiterock Quarries in the county and transported to the site in railroad cars.  A railroad spur was added so that cars were delivered from the railroad in south Carrollton to the courthouse site by the Carrollton electrict street car, being either pushed or pulled up South Main street car tracks.  Carrollton was the smallest town at the time to have an electric street car system from 1893 to 1924.

This information is courtesy of the Carroll County Historical Society, 1968.

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