History of Christian County, Missouri

In March 8, 1859, Christian became the 113th of Missouri's 114 counties. It was carved from portions of Greene, Taney and Webster Counties, the latter two having earlier taken their territories also from Greene County. Only Worth, the state's smallest county, and the independent city of St. Louis were created later. Mrs. Neaves, a landowner hesitant to lose her citizenship of Greene County in order to join the proposed county, agreed to do so if it were named for her former Kentucky residence, Christian County.


The abundant natural beauty, the exhausting reality of surviving from the land, and the traditions and heritage of its people have taught residents to entertain themselves. Artists, poets and writers have abounded here, though few have sought or found national recognition. Restaurateur and supplier of liquor in prohibition days, Howard Garrison; electrician Lyman Herston who recently had a one-man show some thirty years after his death; and currently prolific muralist and print producer Scottie Snider are three of the better known of dozens of artists whose works grace area homes and businesses. Playwright Lanford Wilson, Missouri's "Poet Laureate" George Nicholas Rees, humorist and novelist Suzann Ledbetter, and musician Slim Wilson lived here. Native siblings, Leon "Abner" and Frank "Cicero" Weaver and June "Elviry" who was married to one brother and later the other, performed in the 1920's and 1930's a nationally-known vaudeville act, The Weavers. Among well-known legal cases, the vigilante "Bald Knobbers" group was formed to help restore order after more than a decade of rampant lawlessness followed the Civil War. In 1889, three members paid with their lives for the murder of two men, killed as the organization was disbanding. In 1932, Jennings and Harry Young, members of a highly respected and law-abiding local family, had begun with petty crime and advanced to the slaughter of six policemen in a shootout just across the Greene County line - the most lawmen killed in a single attack in American history.