Barton County Towns and Villages, Now and Then

Barton County was organized in 1855 and named after David Barton, a U. S. senator from Missouri.

Alston Historical


Alston was located in Ozark Township, north of Mindenmines (Minden). (--Map of Missouri, 1925, Rand, McNally & Co.)



Ardath was laid out and named by A. M. Bean, about 1910. He may have taken the name from Marie Corellis' novel, Ardath, published in 1889. (--Place Names.)

Ardath was in the northwest corner of the county in Le Roy Township, northwest of Liberal, on the Frisco Railroad.

Baker's Grove (later Fairbanks)

Baker's Grove was named for the pioneer family of Bakers, who lived in a beautiful grove of oaks. (--Place Names.) It was located in Union Township, Section 8, Township 33 N, Range 31 W.

Barton (not to be confused with Barton City)
Barton was located in Barton City Township, at Section 29, Township 33 N, Range 32 W, near Highway 43. There was a cemetery at this location; also, there is a cemetery in the adjoining section, No. 32.
Barton City (later Hannon)
Barton City, established soon after the Civil War, was an old trading-point and got its name from Barton Co.


Beloit was a station on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, in Township 31 N, Ranges 30 and 31 W, in Richland Township, seven miles south of Lamar. It was laid out by A. Steetman, and the plat was filed July 25, 1881. W. H. Thompson and Dr. W. J. Spence were merchants there. Its former name was Carleton Station. The population was about 100 (1889).

There are Beloits in six other states. It is possible that the store was named for Beloit, Wisconsin, as many people from the north settled in the county.

Berry Hill (later Hell-on-the-line)

Berry Hill was laid out March 24, 1888, by Philo H. Sawyer. No reason for its name is known.

Berry Hill was in Township 31, Range 33 W, in the northwest part of Southwest Township, Section 18.

Hell-On-The-Line is a nickname for Berry Hill, which was on the Kansas-Missouri line. In the days of dry Kansas and wet Missouri, many Kansas citizens came over to the Missouri town and drank and fought.

Boston Boston is an unincorporated community in southern Barton County. It is about halfway between Lamar and Jasper. It is about one mile northeast of the intersection of U.S. Route 71 and Route 126 on county roads. It once had a post office, but the post-office was discontinued in June, 1971 and the mail is now delivered from Lamar. Boston was named for Boston, Mass.

Burgess The village of Burgess has a total area of 0.1 square miles,, all of it land. Burgess is located adjacent to Mulberry, Kansas just across the state line. The only paved roads into Burgess are through Kansas. The trading-point Burgess was named for a Kentuckian named Burgess, who was interested in the coal mines in this region.

It was founded in 1893 by George Leaker.


Bushnell A post-office and store established by Andy and Sibyl (his sister) Bushnell about 1884, and took its name from them
Caput was a village and post-office five miles northwest of Lamar.
Carelton Station
Carleton Station was the name for Beloit before 1881.

Catalpa Park

Sometime after G. H. Walser had established Liberal (q. v.), he turned spiritualist, wrote a life of Christ, and established Catalpa Park, to which his Spiritualist friends could come from all parts of the country to worship. He called it Catalpa Park, because it was in a beautiful grove of Catalpas.
Dennison, North and South (Historical)
Later combined as Liberal. North Denison was laid out in 1884 by A. Delissa, and is in the north part of the present town of Liberal (q. v.). It was probably named for Denison, Texas, because there was much trade between these two sections during this time. The suffix "north" is applied to its relative position. South Denison was laid out in 1884 by R. C. Goss, and is the south part of the present town of Liberal. It was very likely named for Denison, Texas, as was North Denison (q. v.). The suffix "south" applies to its relative position of the place.
Doylesport was a trading-point in the northeast part of the county. It was probably named for a Doyle family in the neighborhood, but the reason for suffixing "port" is not known.

(earlier Coon Creek, ; then Midway, .) Dublin was named by Mrs. Ira Gilson, a native of Ireland, for the city of that name in the "old country".

Dublin was a small town on the Missouri Pacific R. R., in Township 30, Range 31, in the southeast part of Richland Township, on the southern border of the county. It was formerly known by the name of Coon Creek. It was laid out by Nathan Bray, who filed the plat November 11, 1876.

Duval Duval, established in 1871, is near Liberal.
Ellsworth was a post-office and store kept by J. S. Worthington
sometimes called Farmersville

Esrom, in Township 31, Range 31, in the western part of North Fork Township, was founded in 1880. It had one store, kept by William Outstatt. Lumber was manufactured here by William Moody. The village was eight miles southwest from Lamar, 12 miles northest of Nashville..


Forest Grove
Forest Grove, in Richland Township, was established in 1871. It was in Section 14.
Golden City 14 miles SE from Lamar, originally laid out in 1870.

Golden City was established in 1866 as a stop on the Butterfield Stagecoach Line. It takes its name from a nearby area known as Golden Grove. Golden Grove was so named because the early settlers found old diggings in the area that they attributed to Spanish Conquistadors mining for gold. In reality the diggings were done by Indians mining an outcropping of exceptionally fine flint.

Golden City was laid out by S. C. Brock, who filed its plat in the office of the County Recorder, April 6, 1870...It was incorporated February 21, 1881...In 1882 Golden City was organized as a city of the fourth class, J. A. Williamson being the first mayor, and B. Harry the first clerk...Laid out first in 1867, Golden City saw the erection of only one house (the store of B. & D. Appleby) on the old site, until, in 1869, the store and town site was changed from the timber south of where J. P. Wyatt's house now (1889) stands to the northwest corner of Section 35, where about twenty acres was platted, comprising the greater part of what is now (1889) known as "Old Town".

In 1871, the unbroken prairie extended up to the town site, and westward almost without interruption to Dublin, a distance of twelve miles.

It is located at Sections 26, 27, 34 & 35, Township 21 N, Range 29 W, on Highways 37, 126 & 160, near the Dade Co. line.

Hog Eye
The town with this whimsical name was south of Milford in Milford Township
HORSECREEK (later Newport)
For many years the trading-point at Newport was known as Horse Creek because it was located near Horse Creek
It was northwest of Lamar on the Frisco R. R.
Iantha It is located at Sections 13 & 14, Township 32 N, Range 32 W, on Highway W north of 160, six miles west from Lamar, plat filed in 1881.

Iantha is an unincorporated community in Barton County, Missouri. It is located six miles west of Lamar.

Iantha was laid out by W. N. Wills of Lamar, July 25, 1861. The name Iantha is of classic origin, the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. In modern times she appears in Sir William Davenant's "The Siege of Rhodes" and in Shelly's "Queen Mab". Byron dedicates "Childs Harold's Pilgrimage" to Iantha (his name for Lady Charlotte Harley, daughter of the Earl of Oxford). This little town was very likely named for some lady who had been named for Iantha.

Iantha used to have a grocery and a post office but due to modernization and the rapid growth of Lamar they closed.

Irwin Irwin is an unincorporated community in northern Barton County, Missouri. It is located halfway between Lamar and Sheldon on U.S. Route 71 on Highway V. Mail is from Lamar.


Joka was located at Section 9, Township 30 N, Range 30 W.

Kenoma is an unincorporated community in the northeast part of Richland Township. It is located six miles southeast of Lamar on the RR line at the junction of Highways T & U.

It was laid out by Barnabas Boggess, who filed the plat October 26, 1880, and that of Boggess' Addition, February 9, 1884...The merchants in 1889 were Shriner and Malone and James Bryan.

It formerly had a post office, but it closed and mail now comes from Lamar. The community was founded in 1884 and the origin of its name is unknown.

Lamar is the county seat of Barton County. Lamar is well known as the birthplace of President Harry S. Truman. It is located at on Highways 71, 160, & KK

Lamar was laid out in 1846 by order of the county court on land owned by George E. Ward and his son-in-law, Joseph C. Parry. The town was named by Mrs. George E. Ward for an old Louisiana friend of hers, Mirabeau B. Lamar, who had been President of Texas.

The original survey embraces forty to fifty acres. The plat was destroyed, with the other county records during the Civil War. The first business man, and for some years the most prominent one in Lamar, was George E. Ward...who was killed in battle during the Civil War. He built a corn and saw mill, and opened a store in a small log the fall of 1852.

William H. McFarland opened a store on the west side of the square in 1858. He removed to California before the outbreak of the War. Jason Bruffly and Nathan Bray opened a store on the east side of the square in 1859 or 1860, and went out of business about 1862. William Bishop had a grocery in the town during the War. During the War, the town lost about all it had gained previously, the country round about was in a state of terror and disorder, half depopulated, and business was at a standstill...The first store was that of Van Pelt & Smedley, at the northeast corner of the square.

It is located at Sections 19, 31, 29, Range 30 W, and Sections 24, 25, Range 31 W, all in Township 31 N. It is located on Highways 71, 160, & KK.

Lamar Heights

The village of Lamar Heights has a total area of 0.8 square miles, all of it land.

Le Roy Le Roy, laid out by John Jones, January 12, 1875, was built one mile east and three-quarters south of the Oskaloosa site.

Le Roy was laid out by John Jones, who filed the plat April 12, 1873. It is located in the northwest part of Le Roy Township, near the line of the Gulf (now Frisco) R. R., twenty-five miles northwest of Lamar.

Liberal 15 miles NW from Lamar, originally laid out in 1880.

Liberal, MO, named after the Liberal League in Lamar, Missouri (to which the town’s organizer belonged), was started as an atheist, "freethinker" utopia in 1880 by George Walser, an anti-religionist, agnostic lawyer. He bought 2,000 acres (8 km2) of land and advertised across the country for atheists to come and "found a town without a church, [w]here unbelievers could bring up their children without religious training,” and where Christians were not allowed. “His idea was to build up a town that should exclusively be the home of Infidels...a town that should have neither God, Hell, Church, nor Saloon.” Some of the early inhabitants of Liberal even encouraged other infidels to move to their town by publishing an advertisement which boasted that Liberal “is the only town of its size in the United States without a priest, preacher, church, saloon, God, Jesus, hell or devil.”

Milford Mlford is located 12 miles NE of Lamar, at the junction fo Highways KK & CC. The plat filed in 1869. The village of Milford has a total area of 0.8 square miles, all of it land. Milford is an incorporated village in the west part of Milford Township, which was laid off by Charles Milford Wilcox, who filed the plat November 15, 1869. It is 12 miles northeast of Lamar

It was named for the middle name of its founder, C. M. Wilcox.

Mindenmines The plat was filed for Mindenmines on April 19, 1883.

The town was laid out by Captain J. R. Tucker, March 19, 1883 and named Minden. But only a year later the name was changed to Mindenmines (spelled Minden Mines from 1884 to 1895) because the mail got mixed up with that of Mendon, Missouri. The suffix was added because the chief occupation of the local inhabitants was coal mining.



Nashville is a small unincorporated community in southwestern Barton County, Missouri. It is located one mile west of Route 43 about twelve miles southwest of Lamar. The community was platted by Thomas and Squire Baker, January 28, 1869, and is named after Nashville, Tennessee.

The mail is by way of Oronogo, Jasper, Co. Highway 43.


Newport The settlement here was formerly called Horse Creek. The town was laid off by Miles Boord, and the plat was filed June 24, 1874. The plat of Griffin's first addition was filed July 25, 1879. on Highway BB, west of highway F.

(earlier Oak Grove)

It is located 8 miles NE of Liberal on Highway Z..

The post-office at Oak Grove had to be changed in 1895 because there was another Missouri post-office by that name. The name was simply altered to retain the old idea under another form. (--Place Names.) (In 1974, Mail through Lamar).


Oskaloosa Oskaloosa is an old trading-point near the place where the Frisco crosses the Missouri-Kansas line. It was named by people from Iowa, for their old home town. It is located on Highway K.

Verdella is a post-office village, known also as Barton Center, located in the center of Barton City Township, sixteen miles northwest of Lamar and eight miles northeast of Liberal, on Highway FF, in Barton City Township..

It was also known as Hammertown.




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Updated  9/11/09