Jefferson County History - Barnhart

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Two miles south of Imperial on "El Camino Real" is Barnhart, Missouri. Many early settlers with names such as Moss, Stites, and Harris lived in this locale, but the town was not named until after the Frisco Railroad was completed in the early 1900's. It is said that because Mrs. C. L. Barnhart donated some land for the Frisco Railroad Depot, the town was named for the Barnhart family.

However, the land surrounding Barnhart had originally belonged to the O'Fallons. In 1834 Major Benjamin O'Fallon, nephew of Governor William Clark, settled here with his family. Major O'Fallon, who had lived with the Indians for many years, was later appointed Indian agent for the entire Northwest Region, a post he held for about thirty years. "O'Fallon's Bluff" on the Platte River was named for him.

Major B. O'Fallon died in 1842 leaving two sons, Colonel John and James O'Fallon. While James did not leave much history except that he was a farmer and stock raiser, his brother, John, made history as the largest taxpayer of Jefferson County, owning 20,000 acres in 1875, 3,000 at "Indian Retreat" near Sulphur Springs where he made his home.

The "James O'Fallon Home" built in 1860 still stands on Marriott Lane. The house is a two-story, thirteen room brick structure with numerous gables and four dormer windows. It was purchased in 1884 by Joseph G. Marriott, and after that date was known as the Marriott Homestead. Mr. Marriott owned 632 acres of land on this site and as a cattle raiser is remembered for introducing the first Holstein cattle in Jefferson County.

from Historic Sites of Jefferson County, Missouri (Eschbach, Walter L.)

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